Every year about this time, we are inundated with fresh apricots from our neighbor's tree. And every year I tell myself I'm going to make a chicken dish with them but never get around to it.
Instead, we'll make apricot jam, apricot cobbler, apricot tart, or just eat them straight.
Finally, this year, we experimented with apricot chicken, and I love the result!
How to Make This Easy Apricot Chicken Recipe
This recipe is ready in under an hour and is made with just a few easy steps:
- Make the apricot sauce: Marinate the apricots with sugar and vinegar. Set aside a few cups for your finished dish, then puree the remaining apricots to make a simple sauce for the chicken.
- Cook the chicken: For this recipe, we cut the chicken into small bite-sized pieces so they cook quickly.
- Simmer the sauce with spices: This reduces and thickens the sauce, and gives the spices time to infuse the sauce with flavor.
- Bring it all together: Stir the chicken and reserved apricots into the sauce, let it warm up, and serve!
The additions of rosemary, Tabasco, and cinnamon especially really brighten up the flavors and make the dish more interesting than you would expect.
No Fresh Apricots? No Problem!
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 1/2 cup of apricot jam to the stock in Step 4. (Skip Steps 1 and 5.)
What to Serve With This Dish
We served it with rice, but it would also be excellent with egg noodles. Just scoop the rice or noodles onto your plate and top it with a scoop of the apricot chicken!
More Recipes With Apricots
How to Store and Reheat This Dish
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for three to four days. Reheat in a pan over medium heat until the chicken is heated through.
Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish, 30 seconds at a time until heated through.
What to Serve With Apricot Chicken
We recommend serving with simple rice or noodles. Or you can serve with any of these sides as well.
- Easy Boiled Long-Grain Rice
- Rice Pilaf
- Steam-Fried Vegetables
- Cauliflower Rice
- Green Cauliflower Rice
- Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
If you don't have fresh apricots, you can use a combination of dried pitted apricots and apricot jam. Chop up about a dozen dried apricots and add them with 1/2 cup of apricot jam to the stock in Step 4 (skipping Steps 1 and 5).
1 1/2 pounds apricots, pits removed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or substitute with olive oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
Salt, to taste
1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (or more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Rice or egg noodles, for serving
Marinate the apricots:
In a large bowl, stir the apricots, sugar, and vinegar together. Let sit while you brown the chicken in the next step.
Brown the chicken in butter and olive oil:
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until hot.
Working in batches to keep from crowding the pan, brown the chicken pieces on each side. As the chicken cooks, sprinkle with salt. Once the chicken is browned, remove the pieces from the pan to a bowl and set aside.
Saute the onions:
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and saute 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. If the pan becomes dry, add water, a tablespoon at a time to help release the onion from the bottom of the pan.
Add the chicken stock:
Once the onion has browned a bit, add the chicken stock and lower the heat to medium.
Puree the apricots:
Set aside 1 2/3 cups of the apricots for the finished dish. In a blender, puree the remaining apricots, along with any juice they have released. Pour the puree into the pan with the stock and onion.
Simmer the sauce:
Stir the cinnamon, rosemary and Tabasco into the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Then, lower the heat and gently simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste and add black pepper to taste. Taste again and add more salt and Tabasco, if needed.
Finish the dish:
Just before serving, add the chicken and the reserved apricot pieces to the pan. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is hot and the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with rice or egg noodles.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||20%|
|Total Carbohydrate 26g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||10%|
|Total Sugars 21g|
|Vitamin C 15mg||73%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|