Apricot Chicken

Quick and easy apricot chicken with skinless boneless chicken breasts and fresh apricots.

If you don't have fresh apricots, you can use a combo of dried pitted apricots and apricot jam. Chop up about a dozen dried apricots and add them, with a half cup of apricot jam, to the stock in step 4 (skipping steps 1 and 5).

  • Yield: Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds apricots, roughly chopped, pits removed and discarded
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (can sub olive oil)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth (use gluten-free stock if you are cooking gluten-free)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (you can add more if you like)
  • Black pepper

Method

1 Place the chopped apricots in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and the vinegar. Let sit while you brown the chicken in the next step.

2 In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the pan, without crowding the pan, and brown them on each side. As the chicken cooks, sprinkle salt over it. Once the chicken is browned, remove the pieces from the pan to a bowl and set aside.

3 Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. As the onion cooks and releases moisture, use a flat edged spatula or wooden spoon to scrape off the browned bits from the chicken (called fond) from the bottom of the pan.

4 Once the onions have browned a bit, add the chicken stock and lower the heat to medium.

5 Put about 2/3 of the apricots, along with any juice they have given up, into a blender and blend into a purée. Pour the purée into the pan with the chicken stock and onions.

6 Add the cinnamon, rosemary and Tabasco and taste. You may need to add some salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 10-20 minutes.

7 When you are ready to serve, put the chicken and the remaining apricot pieces into the pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with rice.

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Comments

  1. Bluus

    This looks amazing. My fiance and I sometimes make a spicy peach, peanut butter, and chicken dish that’s rather similar so I’m excited to try this one!

  2. bethany

    juuuust curious- do you think you can substitute peaches for apricots, or are they fundamentally different? thanks!

    You can try it with peaches, I would use yellow peaches as their flavor holds up better when cooked than white peaches. ~Elise

  3. Ani

    I do something similar to this with lamb in the slow cooker. It’s my attempt at a tagine and usually rub the lamb in ras al hanout before cooking. I’ll definitely try this chicken version but will probably include the ras al hanout as it adds great flavor!

  4. Mandy Frielinghaus

    Superb sounding recipe. Chicken and apricots is always a nice combination. I wonder what it would be like to replace the tabasco sauce with curry powder?
    Thanks,
    Mandy

  5. Traveling Culinary Artist

    Sounds and looks yummy! Thinking the dried apricot version would be great in the fall and maybe add a bit of Dijon mustard in place of the tobasco. Definitely moving this to the to be tested file!

  6. Carrie

    I’m going to make this with bone-in chicken. The chicken breasts are so huge nowadays that we cut each breast half in half. Since bone-in takes longer to cook through, should I add them back into the recipe during step 6?

    Sounds like a good idea to me. ~Elise

  7. Alice

    We made this last night and have now added it to our favorites! It was very good, not too sweet with a little bit of zing. Next time we are going to add carrots pineapple and slivered almonds. Thanks for the great recipe! I love your website, I have forwarded it to my MIL and some friends that love to cook. YOU ROCK!

  8. Meg

    After seeing this recipe and getting a bunch of super cute apricots in my CSA, I made this recipe- really tasty! Thanks!!

  9. Xanthippe

    I simply must make this dish soon; it sounds enticing with its lovely mix of flavors. If making the dried apricot version, should I omit the sugar and cider vinegar?

    I would taste the sauce and add if you think it needs it. Fresh apricots can be less intensely flavored than dried, so the acid from the vinegar intensifies the apricot flavor and the sugar balances out the acid. With dry apricots, you just might not need it, but I would taste and see. ~Elise

  10. Rachel

    I made a modified version of this last night with ingredients I had on hand, and it was delicious! I used yellow peaches instead of apricots, and cut the chicken broth in half. The rest of the liquid came from white wine. I was hungry, so I skipped the pureeing step, which I think would’ve made the dish even better. I also added some broccoli because I had a bit of extra sauce. Just a note– if you’re using peaches, I recommend peeling them first! The little bits of fuzz in my chicken made me cringe, even though I knew where it came from!

  11. Shanda

    Made this last night! I was pleased to find fresh apricots at Whole Foods. I put it over quiona instead of rice and it was nice and hearty.

  12. Kristie

    I made this tonight for dinner and it was as good as it sounded! I used fresh apricots from the market, they were so sweet. I will definitley make this to “show off” when guest come for dinner:)

  13. Dave

    My girlfriend and I are pescatarians. I was wondering if anyone has tried this apricot recipe with shrimp or white fish?

  14. Jen

    I loved this recipe – made it last night! I used honey instead of sugar (about the same amount), skipped the rosemary and upped the heat a little bit with some cayenne on top of the Tabasco. It was lovely over jasmine brown rice, and not nearly as sweet as I feared it might be. Great recipe!

  15. Keith

    Not a bad dish at all. Has a very different flavor. I think using a little less sugar and maybe a little more spice (like cayenne pepper or something) would improve the flavor a little. I had a lot of sauce left over too, so I think I might try it with some Mahi Mahi or a similar fish.

  16. Dawn

    I made this last night with a couple of substitutions. First, we have a nectarine tree which is fruiting right now. Had to use them :)
    Second, my husband doesn’t like cinnamon, so I used Chinese 5 spice powder. Everything else was to the letter of the recipe, and the results were FABULOUS! Can’t wait to get the leftovers tonight. Thanks for a real keeper of a recipe.

  17. Dana Slatkin

    This has a Mediterranean or Moroccan “feel” to me. I keep thinking that a small amount of dried tangerine peel, either in strips or powder form, might be a flavorful addition.

  18. Sarah

    I just made this using dried apricots and jam since the apricots here in London were looking a bit sad this weekend. I used slightly less than 1/2 cup of St Dalfour brand thick apricot no sugar added fruit spread and a dozen dried apricots. I didn’t need any additional sugar or vinegar and it tasted great. The cinnamon, hot sauce and rosemary levels seemed perfect in this version as well. Really unexpectedly yummy!

  19. Sheila

    This is a wonderful recipe. Nice blending of herbs/spices and the Tabasco gives it zip! I served it over brown rice. Leftovers tonight were excellent!

  20. Kait

    Is there a way to tweak this recipe for the crock pot? This sounds so yummy but I would love to prepare ahead of time. Any suggestions?

  21. Jenn

    Once again, Elise, a great recipe. As I have said before, I seldom “do” recipes…I tend to stick to the tried and true, however, I have tried more recipes from your blog than any other source EVER, and they have all been great (except for one, and I should have known I wouldn’t like it!). I have recommended you many times because you really don’t fail. Thanks SO MUCH for a real contribution to my life – I’ve been married for 11 years and I’ve always said that finding something for dinner was the hardest part of marriage! Blessings! AND gratitude!

  22. bethany

    Hi Elise! I made this with peaches as you had kind of mentioned and my husband I were struck by how Chinese it tasted. Is it the rosemary or the peaches that gives it that feeling?

    Hi Bethany, Chinese? That’s a new one. No idea. :-) ~Elise

  23. Rosie

    Elise, we made this last night and it was delicious. My only regret is that I stumbled upon this recipe too late in the season as apricots are waning at the downtown Sacramento market. Even my 2.5 yr old daughter enjoyed this one. :-) Thank you!

  24. Erin

    This was delicious, although we substituted nectarines & thyme on the fruit/spice side, and poached some salmon instead of chicken as it reduced. And then served on top of coconut rice, yum.

  25. Mom in a Box

    Delicious! I used the dried apricots and apricot preserves, so I skipped the sugar altogether– It was not missed! I also made it with bone-in chicken thighs, just let them cook in the sauce as it reduced. This was very easy to prepare. It’s a new favorite!

  26. John

    This was a great, easy recipe. Due to the season, I also made it with dried apricots and preserves (skipping the soaking ingredients), and it turned out great! I used bone-in chicken breasts and quinoa instead of rice, and they turned out great…moist, flavorful with that great apricot sauce.

  27. Maria Teresa Mauri

    The Aussie version of apricot chicken is very easy and is also very delicious. Brown chicken pieces, put in a casserole dish, pour in a can of apricot nectar and a packet of dried french onion soup mix. Add water to cover, bake in oven for an hour.

    Garnish with pitted black olives, apricot halves and chopped parsley…serve over steamed rice.

  28. Bobby POON

    Not sure if its the apricot or the Apple Vinegar, the dish tasted too sharp. I think it definitely needs a sweet element. But the texture of the chicken was perfect. Perhaps it is the fruit enzyme or something.

  29. horizontalsun

    This recipe is amazing! No apricots at the local produce stand, so I used plums instead! Had an apple-like consistency. (More juice, so cut the chicken stock in half.) Love the fresh rosemary/tobasco additions. Would use less cinnamon next time (for plums, anyways).

  30. sophie

    Ive just made your recipe today as a suprise for my husband after his trip. It was amazing!! I used dried apricots and we have both enjoyed it so much.. Thanks alot!!

  31. Lauren

    This is very good and very easy to make! I used dried apricots and apricot jam instead of fresh and omitted the sugar. Will definitely make again and experiment with different dried fruits and jams.