Growing up, mum made easy apricot chicken. Back then it was a staple in lots of Aussie households: apricot nectar, a packet of French onion soup mix & chicken pieces – usually drumsticks & thighs, tossed together & baked until the chicken was falling-off-the-bone tender & the juices had thickened, glazing the chicken. This would be served with rice & steamed veggies. I’m sure it was an easy meal for mum who worked full-time while raising two daughters & I know money was tight. This is a little more upscaled version of apricot chicken using dried apricots & wine instead of nectar.Jump to Recipe
Marinate the chicken the day before. This takes just a few minutes to throw together. Dried apricots, red wine vinegar, fresh thyme sprigs, orange peel, garlic, salt & pepper along with chicken gets tumbled into a bowl & left to marinate. Then the whole lot, along with some white wine & brown sugar, get dumped into a baking pan & cooked for almost an hour. Use chicken thighs or drumsticks. Forget the breast meat. Darker meat is succulent & is always best for braises, casseroles & stews.
Although I served easy apricot chicken with rice, I would prefer couscous. Sadly the box I thought I had lurking in the back of my cupboard was nowhere to be found. Not only is couscous so easy to prepare, requiring almost no cooking – if you can boil water, you can make couscous – I think it soaks up those uber flavorful juices more effectively than the rice. And it’s good with those recipes that have lots of sauce, like this one.
While we’re talking chicken, have you seen the low carb chicken recipe section on Fresh Hunger? We have several recipes to please even the pickiest eater. Take a look & grab the recipes here.
Dried apricots have many health benefits. In moderation, they’re good for a snack when you’re craving something sweet. They become plump when cooked in liquid adding such a lovely tart sweetness to any recipe. Although this easy apricot chicken is different to the apricot chicken mum used to make, the flavor of the apricots pulls at those nostalgic strings as food is apt to do. Enjoy, Lovoni xo
easy apricot chicken
- 9 x 13 inch baking dish
- 2 garlic bulbs
- 6 oz package dried apricots 170 g
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 thyme sprigs
- 3 strips orange peel
- 5 to 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt & pepper
- steamed rice or couscous to serve optional
- Cut about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) off the top of each garlic bulb to reveal the cloves inside. Discard the tops or reserve them for another use such as adding to a broth.
- In a non-reactive container or a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine cut garlic bulbs, apricots, vinegar, oil, thyme, peel & chicken. Seal the bag, pushing the air out before it’s completely sealed. Massage the marinade mixture over the chicken. If you’re using a container, give the chicken a good stir. Cover or seal & chill 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Have ready a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Tumble the chicken & the marinade into the baking dish. Add the wine. Turn the chicken skin side up. Sprinkle with the sugar, salt & pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 55 minutes until the skin is golden brown & chicken is cooked. To test for doneness, either insert and instant read thermometer into a piece of chicken. It needs to read over 170°F (76°C), or pierce to check the juices run clear.
- Spoon chicken onto plates & spoon the pan sauce over the top, removing the thyme sprigs, orange rings & garlic. Serve chicken & with rice or couscous to soak up all the juices. Serves 3 to 5.