Chicken with Dried Apricots, Green Olives & Almonds

        From the blog For Love of the Table
3 to 4 lbs chicken thighs
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
Olive oil 
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced 
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 lb. carrots, topped, tailed, peeled and cut on a long bias into 3-inch pieces (about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick)
1 1/2 t. ground ginger 
3/4 t. ground cinnamon 
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth 
Zest of 1 orange
A generous pinch of saffron threads 
3/4 c. whole almonds, lightly toasted
3/4 c. dried apricots, halved crosswise if very large
1/2 c. green olives, pitted
1/2 c. lightly packed cilantro leaves, sliced into a rough chiffonade
Harissa, optional

Season chicken with salt and pepper (if time, do this up 12 to 24 hours ahead, cover loosely and store in the refrigerator). Heat a braiser pan or deep straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat; add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan (1 to 2 T.). Add the chicken, skin side down, and brown all over, in batches if necessary to keep from crowding the pan. Regulate the heat as necessary to maintain an active sizzle. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but a tablespoon or so of fat from the pan. 

Reduce heat to medium; add onion, garlic, and carrots. Season lightly with salt (be careful, the olives will add a lot of salt). Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in ginger and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

Stir in broth, orange zest and saffron, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Return chicken and accumulated juices to pan. Add the almonds, apricots and olives. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) reads 180 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Taste and correct the seasoning. You may stir the cilantro in, or scatter it over the finished dish. Serve with couscous or rice. Pass harissa if you like. Serves 6 

(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living)