Recently Hubby, Kiddo and I spent a day at a Flea Market (of sorts) on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. The Flea, as it is called, is a mixture of vintage peddlers, and local craftsmen. There is everything from recycled art to small cottage-kitchen homemade goods. We found a vendor peddling her homemade marshmallows in a variety of flavors (our favorites were the salted caramel and peanut butter mallows). We sampled some wonderful, creamy goat cheeses from a nearby farm (bought four different flavored cheeses), various honey from local keepers, balsamic vinegars, and bottles of the most flavorful olive oils. These vinegars and oils are lovingly made in small batches – a bit pricey, but well worth the extra costs. If you are ever in the San Francisco area on the last weekend of the month, I highly recommend a side trip to Treasure Island. The views of the bay are spectacular, the merchandise offered is unique and the endless assortment of food trucks (the best in the bay) are sure to satisfy whatever craving you may have. Get there early, as the crowds grow throughout the day. And plan for a lot of walking.
Needless to say, we were in hunter’s heaven. Hubby bought a great hand-crafted leather belt. I found vintage dishes, hand-painted serving bowls and all sorts of honey, cheeses, vinegars and oils to stock my pantry. The Cherry Balsamic Vinegar was a great update to my Refreshing Compressed Watermelon,Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad. I’ve got big plans for the Lemon-Goat Cheese (for a creamy sauce to add with chicken – but that’s a post for another day).
The sage honey was awesome in this glazed chicken recipe. So golden, so delicate, so down right delicious. Both the apricots and young carrots came from a visit to the farmer’s market. While large carrots can be used, or the baby carrots in a bag, there is something sweet about the young, tender carrots with their tops that add to the dish (just be sure to cut off the green tops before using!)
Needless to say, the quality of your chicken will greatly impact the flavor of your dish. Whenever possible, look for hormone-free, antibiotics free, all natural chickens. The “brands” that I prefer are Rocky or Rosie Chicken – both from the same company. Their chickens come from Sustainable Farms in and around the Sonoma area of California. The chickens are then packaged in nearby Petaluma. Beautiful country – great farms, vineyards and awesome foods abound throughout the Sonoma Valley.
Apricot Sage Honey Glazed Drumsticks with Carrots
Salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 fresh apricots
10 young carrots
To prepare Chicken: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Pit the apricots, then slice into strips. Set aside.
Wash carrots, trim tops and ends. Cut as necessary into 2″ long sections. (Mine were perfect, needing almost no cutting beyond the trimming stage). Set aside.
Heat oil in heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, brown the drumsticks on all sides, about 8-10 minutes, turning as needed. While chicken is browning, make apricot glaze.
Apricot Sage Honey Glaze
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sage honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
To Prepare the Apricot Glaze: Combine apricot jam, red wine vinegar, sage honey, mustard, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Whisk mixture thoroughly to combine. Reserve 2 heaping tablespoons of the glaze and set aside.
Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining glaze over the drumsticks on all sides. (You will not use all the glaze in this application).
To the remaining glaze in the bowl, add carrots and apricots. Mix to coat well. Set apricot/carrot mixture aside.
Arrange drumsticks in a large casserole dish. Spoon carrot/apricot/glaze mixture over legs, spread evenly.
To Bake the Chicken: Place chicken in the oven to bake. After about 20 minutes, remove dish from oven, close door to retain heat, Rotate legs, and brush with reserved glaze. Return dish to oven for another 20 minutes.
Check for drumsticks for doneness. If more time is needed, rotate legs once more and return to oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes of baking.
To serve: Plate legs and carrots, drizzle with juices from the casserole dish. Serve with fluffy rice such as Rice Pilaf.