Grandma's Red Chicken

There's Magic in Preparing an Heirloom Family Recipe

There's a certain magic in preparing an heirloom family recipe. In my house it's just magical if I can make the time to prepare a meal from scratch!

If you're lucky you have some recipes stashed in a file somewhere that have been given the thumbs up from your family, despite the fact that it was chow created based on another time and place. Like maybe on a farm in the middle of Saskatchewan. Sometimes it's not until after a beloved cook in the family passes away that the bright light goes on telling you that you should have written down a delicious recipe or two.

Sometimes secret ingredients and recipes never make it onto paper. This is very sad. (The death of a recipe!) Make a point of recording your family recipes on a regular basis. Your kids will appreciate it so much, and special family memories will always be remembered through your favourite dishes.

I have a recipe my grandma used to make and then my mom used to make it, and now I make it. Its not a complicated recipe, but it will always be in our family because it tastes so good. It also conjures up carefree childhood memories for me - the days when it was just school, bike riding and coming home to find supper waiting magically for me. My mom worked full-time, so she would make it ahead of time in the morning and we would it eat cold with rice for supper. I remember sneaking pieces before dinnertime because the taste was so addictive...

Here's the recipe:

Red Chicken

Mix together:
1 packet of dry onion soup mix
250ml of Russian salad dressing
1 c. of apricot jam
2 lbs. of chicken drumettes.

Mix well. Chop up 8-10 dried apricots into slivers and place on top of the mixture.
Bake covered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees uncovered.

The sauce tastes great over rice or mashed potatoes. The source of this recipe, my grandma, is turning 92 years old next weekend...this recipe might very well be the secret to a long and healthy life! (She also eats a lot of broccoli!)

Lesli Christianson-Kellow lives, writes and drinks espresso in Calgary. She also enjoys giving haircuts to her two daughters, husband and 14-year-old Golden Retriever, all who patiently let her chop away.