I thought I'd start as I mean to go on: discussing teas, tea accessories, tea ware, tea books and tea recipes.
So today it will be a recipe. Inspired by the latest Laura Childs tea shop mystery, Scones and Bones, I decided to look in the larder and see what I had on hand to create a tea luncheon for my husband and myself today. [Aside: I realize the teashop series is hardly high literature but the books are great fun and certainly all I can handle when the temps climb into the 90s]. Anyway, what I ferreted out of fridge and pantry was: two boneless chicken breast halves, a bag of slivered almonds, a bottle of cold pressed olive oil, a sweet onion, some mayonnaise and a jar of apricot preserves.
Apricot Glazed Chicken Salad
Step One: In a teflon coated saute pan, dry toast 1/3 c slivered almonds, tossing frequently. Remove from pan and set aside.
Step Two: Add 2T olive oil to pan, tilt to coat the pan evenly. Gently lay the chicken breast halves in the pan. Cook on each side for three minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop about 1/3 c of sweet onion. Add to pan and saute till slightly softened.
Step Three: Add just enough water to deglaze the pan.
Step Four: Place a heaping tablespoon of apricot preserves on the top of each chicken breast, letting it melt down into the pan juices. Stir pan juices to incorporate melted apricot preserves. Add just enough water to keep preserves from burning [a Tbs. at a time]. Turn chicken breasts to coat both sides. Reduce to simmer. Cover pan. Simmer for another 20 minutes, checking, from time to time, to make sure glaze is not getting too thick [it'll burn] and turning the chicken.
Step Five: Remove chicken. Set aside to cool. Reduce the onion/glaze mixture, stirring constantly. Once it is nice and thick, remove from heat and set it aside in a bowl to cool.
Step Six: In a bowl combine 2T mayonnaise with enough of the glaze mixture to give it a nice sweet flavor [this is a matter of taste]. If mixture is too thick, thin with a bit of orange juice. Meanwhile, cube the cooled chicken. Fold chicken cubes into the mayo mixture. Stir in toasted slivered almonds.
Line mini-croissants with a small leaf of Boston lettuce and fill with chicken salad to make a dainty sandwich
Fill lettuce cups with chicken salad, garnish with crumbled blue cheese or mandarin orange sections
Top toast rounds with chicken salad for an open faced tea sandwich, garnish as above