Getting Fruity Pre Christmas

Persian Chicken

Getting Fruity Pre Christmas

I’ve always been a fan of Opies – Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without pickled walnuts on Boxing Day and Opies is – in my opinion - THE pickled walnut company.  The company also produces delicious bottled fruits in alcohol and now, just in time for Christmas, has launched two new varieties.  You can find them in Waitrose, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Ocado at £6.99 a 460g jar – so now is the perfect time to stock up for the Festive Season.

There are two new luxury fruits: Mixed Fruits with Prosecco (red fruits) and Apricots with Jim Beam. The easiest way to enjoy them is spooned over ice cream or served simply with rich double cream. But, rather than settling for tradition, here are a couple of nice recipes, one savoury and the other sweet, using the apricots.  And the dessert would freeze well too.

Persian Chicken 

Aromatic spiced chicken thighs, baked in the oven. It can be served warm or cold with flatbreads or couscous. 

Makes 4

Meal occasion: Quick and Easy, Midweek Meals, Events & Occasions

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


1 red onion, peeled and sliced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1tsp turmeric

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp minced garlic in oil

2 lemons, one cut into wedges

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

10 Opies Apricots in Jim Beam and 2 tbsp. reserved syrup

2 tbsp. pomegranate seeds to garnish

Handful of fresh coriander leaves to garnish


  1. In a large bowl combine the onion, spices, garlic and zested rind and juice of a lemon.
  2. Tip in the chicken thighs and make sure they are well coated and season with salt and pepper, leave in the fridge for ½ hour. 
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, halve the Apricots with Jim Beam.
  4. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and scatter over Opies Apricots with Jim Beam, roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Probe with a clean skewer and if juices run clear the chicken is cooked. 
  5. Drizzle over the reserved syrup, scatter with pomegranate seeds, lemon wedges and coriander leaves. 


Apricot Meringue Parfait

An indulgent, creamy apricot dessert, with crunchy almonds, served semi frozen in slices, drizzled with the Jim Beam syrup. 

Makes 4

Meal occasion: Event and Occasions, Quick & Easy

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Freezing time: 2 – 3 hours 

Allergens: Eggs, Dairy, Nuts


2 eggs

50g sugar

283ml cream, lightly whipped

Jar of Opies Apricots with Jim Beam, drained and syrup reserved, roughly chop all except 8 halves

2 meringue nests, crushed

25g flaked almonds, toasted


  1. In a bowl whisk the eggs and sugar over a pan of boiling water until it doubles in size and leaves a trail with the whisk. Remove from the heat and keep whisking until it cools. 
  2. Fold in the whipped cream, chopped apricots and meringues. 
  3. Line a 450g loaf tin with cling film.
  4. Place the 8 reserved apricot halves onto the base of the tin, flat side down. 
  5. Pour the cream mixture into the tin and cover the top with cling film.
  6. Freeze for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  7. Remove for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight

Mrs Foodie

Twickenham & Richmond Tribune