Fruit, whether fresh or dried, is a great way to sweeten a dish without adding refined sugar. The dried apricots and Deglet Noor dates add a unique rustic sweetness to this chicken. Throw it all in a slow cooker and just let it go! 

I like to serve this pulled chicken topped with fresh garden salsa (fresh tomato + onion + jalapeño + salt + lime) and sometimes a crumble of cheese on top. This is great on top of brown rice or thinly sliced cabbage tossed with cilantro and lime, or just by itself with a side of roasted veggies or plantains. 
I have been using Made in Nature brand dried fruits for quite a while (available at Fresh & Natural Foods in Hudson if you're local!). I am always pleased with their products; they are organic and don't contain chemicals, added sugar, or sulfuring, which are common things in a lot of dried fruit. They recently sent me a bag of Organic Deglet Noor Dates to try, and I immediately fell in love with them...they are really light and caramel-y tasting, very pleasant for sweet and savory cooking. 

AND, if you like this recipe (and share it through social media) and  THEY  like my recipe, they will provide me with dates to giveaway to my great readers and patients! I hope you give this recipe a try and love it!


SWEET TUNISIAN PULLED CHICKEN
1/2 cup chopped Made in Nature Organic Unsulfured Apricots
¾ cup chopped Made in Nature Organic Deglet Noor Dates
1 cup chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
2 small jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs tomato paste
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbs chili powder
2lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
pinch of red pepper flakes, if you like spice

Very finely chop the apricots and dates and measure to equal 1/2 cup apricots and ¾ cup dates. Place them into the bottom of the crockpot along with chicken broth, onion, jalapeno, garlic, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, and chili powder. Mix everything around and then nestle the chicken breasts into the mixture.

Cook for 8 hours on low, stirring once or twice during cooking if you around. When the chicken is tender and falling apart, move it to a cutting board and use two forks to pull it apart and shred it. Return the meat to the slow cooker and toss it around in the sauce/juices and then serve. 


Don't know how to make plantains?! Find them in the fruit section, usually next to the bananas...they are like a banana's mutant cousin- much bigger, usually appearing over-ripe and slightly brown. I like to select the ones that are teetering on very ripe: a peel that is green/yellow with some brown (about 25% brown). Heat a little coconut oil or lard in a cast iron pan, and working in batches pan-fry sliced plantains for several minutes on each side and then season with sea salt. 
Plantains are a great side-dish for anyone who is gluten and/or grain free!


 
 
This is a fresh and light summertime dinner and a great way to use up those juicy ripe strawberries! The feta cheese on top is optional, and if you choose not to use it I would recommend replacing it with some toasted sliced almonds!
SPRING STRAWBERRY BASIL GRILLED CHICKEN
4 chicken breasts
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 cup fresh chopped strawberries
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese or 2 oz. toasted sliced almonds
½ cup fresh chopped basil

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and then toss with the maple syrup to coat it. Grill as you normally would. (I always pound chicken breasts to an even thickness before grilling or marinating).

2. When chicken is cooked through, place each serving on a plate and top each evenly with the fresh strawberries, feta cheese, and basil. Serve and enjoy!

 
 
Boneless skinless chicken breast = vehicle for flavor. 

This recipe was quick and really really good. It even got rave reviews from a picky eater who “doesn’t like honey mustard.” 
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Feel free to adjust the amounts of maple syrup and mustard if you like it a little more maple-y or mustard-y.  I think the Dijon is a keystone to the sauce, but you could sub the yellow mustard for a different variety, like whole grain mustard. Also, I always either pound out or slice in half lengthwise my boneless skinless chicken breasts, especially if they are larger; this ensures that they cook evenly and don’t dry out. If you are looking for a good meat-pounder, this is the one I have, which I love. 

This chicken goes great with a big, Italian-style salad.

MAPLE MUSTARD CHICKEN 
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbs yellow mustard
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
¼ cup pure maple syrup
pinch of salt
fresh ground black pepper

1. Sauté the chicken breasts in Grape Seed Oil (this is a healthy oil that can handle high heat without burning and creating free-radicals in your body, and it has a neutral and light flavor), or other heat-safe cooking oil. 

2. Let the chicken cool for several minutes and then slice into strips. Put the chicken on a plate and then drizzle it with the maple-mustard sauce and top with fresh ground black pepper.