1. Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 400º.
2. Lightly oil a flameproof baking dish (not glass) that will hold the chicken at least 1/4 inch a part in one layer.
3. Pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and place in baking dish.
4. In a second small pan, place almonds.
5. Bake both chicken and almonds (stirring twice, until golden) 10 minutes.
6. While chicken and almonds bake, cook apricot preserves, soy sauce, mustard, butter, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until preserves are melted.
7. Remove almonds from oven. Pour sauce over chicken and continue to bake about 10 minutes more.
8. Turn on broiler and broil chicken 4-5 inches from heat, basting once, until chicken is glazed and browned in spots, about 3 minutes.
Serve sprinkled with almonds.
Accompaniment: Balsamic Roasted Potato Wedges.