Apricot Chicken

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).

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


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


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 chicken and sauce are hot.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with rice.

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  • Bibe

    Made this with apricots off my tree. Perfect recipe. I left out the tabasco and added peas. Was so delicious. Amazing loved it. 4-yr old girl ate the bowl full. Thank You

  • Peggy

    This was my first, and still one of my favorite recipes from this site (have since made many others). I use skinless, boneless chicken thighs and sriracha (so I use about 1 teaspoon). I have always made this with dried apricots, as we like the more intense flavor. I also add slivered almonds before serving, for both texture and taste. Yum! This has become one of my go-to company recipes (served over brown rice). It also freezes really well.


  • Shelley Coopersmith

    Question: The amount of apricots by weight, is that weighed before or after pitting them?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Shelley, the weight is before pitting them, but it wouldn’t really make much of a difference either way in this case.

  • Trixie

    I made this yesterday and the husband and I loved it. I used less hot sauce because I have a child but she wasn’t a fan. (She’s very picky). I made it with fresh apricots. I didn’t have fresh rosemary so I used dried and reduced the amount to half. I blended it with the apricots because dried rosemary can be a bit twiggy. It has a great zip and flavor. I will make it again. Thanks.

  • Donna Swanson

    I used fresh apricots. I went light on the vinegar after reading of the tartness. I wound up adding more sugar to taste to get a sweet sour feel. With tweaking, it is a good recipe. Next time I would add vinegar last if needed with fresh apricots.

  • Emily

    This was so yummy. I’m just starting to get into cooking, and this was a perfect recipe for someone on my level to try. I also substituted yellow peaches for apricots and I thought the flavor was nice. Also I think I added a little too much cinnamon, but other than that it was great! Definitely going to make it again. Thank you!

  • Ellise

    I found this recipe yesterday, bought the ingredients I needed, and made this for dinner. It was fantastic. I added a little bit of Chinese 5 Spice as someone else had recommended and ate it with whole grain tortillas. It was amazing! Definitely will be adding this to my make again list!

  • Angelou

    Wow, wow, wow! I used peaches instead of apricots because that is all the store had. It turned out so delicious. My boyfriend and I always say that if no one is talking during a meal, then you know it’s good. Well, neither one of us said a word while we ate this, lol.

  • Martin

    My wife is sensitive to hot stuff so I cut the Tabasco in half. It was delicious.

  • 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.

  • Andi

    Would mango be a good sub?

    It might be. If you try it with mango, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • 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!!

  • Sasha Svetskaya

    This recipe tastes good. Thanks to this website I have learned many new recipes.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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!


  • 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?

  • 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!


  • 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!


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Dave

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

  • Robin

    Another option is replacing Tabasco with spicy curry powder. Chicken + apricot + curry = YUMMY!

  • 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:)

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Michelle

      You can skin peaches just like tomatoes. Drop in boiling water for about 60 seconds and then put in bowl of cold water with ice. Skin will slip off just like it does a tomato.

  • 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

  • Meg

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

  • 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!


  • 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

  • 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!

  • Jessica @ JustRightMenus

    I am looking forward to trying this recipe! I’ve made a similar dish (http://www.justrightmenus.com/recipe.php?id=260) using peaches, and I’ll probably substitute peaches for this one, too, as I can get them more easily than apricots. Thank you!

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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

    • Haitham

      I tried it with peaches and plum, both were fantastic.

  • 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!