Rice Pilaf with Apricots and Chicken
Soak apricots in warm water, covered, about 3 hours. Drain and halve apricots. Place rice in a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt. Add warm water, cover, and let stand 20 minutes. Rinse chicken breasts with cold water.
Bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add chicken, and cook until meat is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let chicken cool in the broth. Peel onion and carrot. Cut onion into small cubes. Cut carrots into matchsticks. Drain rice in a sieve, rinse with fresh water and let drain.
Cut the chicken breast into 3 cm (approximately 1 inch) long strips. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add almonds and cook over high heat until golden. Add onions and carrots and cook over medium heat about 1 minute. Add chicken, rice and broth. Season with salt, pepper, allspice and cinnamon stick.
Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 20 minutes. Fold in apricots 5 minutes before the end of cooking time. Stir in butter. Let stand, covered, 5-10 minutes. To serve, divide rice pilaf among bowls.