Apricot Chicken

DinnerQuick and EasyApricotChicken Breast

Got fresh apricots? Make this easy Apricot Chicken skillet dinner! It's ready in under an hour and makes a great change from your usual weeknight chicken routine. (You can swap in dried apricots, too.)

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

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!

An Easy Skillet Dinner

This recipe is ready in under an hour and is made with just a few easy steps:

  1. 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.
  2. Cook the chicken: For this recipe, we cut the chicken into small bite-sized pieces so they cook quickly.
  3. Simmer the sauce with spices: This reduces and thickens the sauce, and gives the spices time to infuse the sauce with flavor.
  4. 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 especially cinnamon really brighten up the flavors and make the dish more interesting than you would expect.

Apricot Chicken in Bowl With Fork

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 a half 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

Updated June 4, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle. No changes to the original recipe.

Apricot Chicken Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

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).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds apricots, pits removed and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or substitute with olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (or more to taste)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

Method

1 Marinate the apricots: In a large bowl, stir the apricots, sugar, and the vinegar together. Lit sit while you brown the chicken in the next step.

2 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.

3 Sauté the onions: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and sauté the onions until they begins to brown.

As the onions cook and release 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 onions from the bottom of the pan.

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

5 Purée the apricots: Set aside 1 2/3 cups of the apricots for the finished dish. In a blender purée the remaining apricots, along with any juice they have released. Pour the purée into the pan with the stock and onions.

6 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 10-20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste and add black pepper to taste and add more salt and Tabasco if needed.

7 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

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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55 Comments / Reviews

No ImageApricot Chicken

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Caitlin

    Can you cook in the slow cooker?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Nick

    This was really, really good, and very easy to make. Only substitution was sambal olek for Tabasco. Thanks Elise.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Sasha

    This dish was delicious! I expected it to really sweet, but the addition of the onions, cinnamon, rosemary, and tabasco convert the super sweet apricot flavor into a rich savory dish. I used the dried apricots + a low sugar jam which I’m glad is an option. I would be soooo sad if I could only make this dish during apricot season.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Farida

    When do I add the Tabasco and rosemary to chicken stock or after the apricot puree is added….

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Dr. M Ahsan

    Yummy food.

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