Apricot Chicken

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Apricot Chicken 
Its been a long six months since I made the decision to leave the UK and journey back to Canada, but here I am finally in my own little home. This past Sunday I was able to have my family (sister, brother in law and father) over for supper as a thank you for all they have done for me over these past months.

There were moments over these months when I never thought I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. It seemed to be so far away, but here I am!  My patience having been well and truly exercised!

Apricot Chicken 
I am a person who has always loved having people over for meals. I cannot count how many young Missionary Elders and Sisters I have fed through the years. Countless. 

They always loved coming to us for a meal and I always loved feeding them. The special spirit they bring into your home is such a gift!  Of course right now at the moment, they are not eating in people's homes or visiting people, due to Covid.

Apricot Chicken 
And of course, not many of us are entertaining anyone in our homes for exactly the same reason.  

I am allowed to have my family bubble in my home however, and I was so pleased to be able to return at least a portion of the kindnesses they have shown me over the past months with a delicious home-cooked meal.

My father does have very simple tastes however, so I had to be careful to choose something simple and not really outrageous for him.  I wanted him to enjoy the meal, along with everyone else.

Apricot Chicken 
I decided to cook this traditional apricot chicken recipe for them. Its actually a very simple recipe, using only four basic ingredients, not counting salt and pepper.

All you need for this is chicken pieces, apricot jam, fresh lemon juice and ground nutmeg.  Simple.

Apricot Chicken 
You don't need to fry anything. You just lay the chicken out in a baking dish, season it, and then pour the remaining ingredients over top and bake.

Its one of those meals that basically cooks itself, leaving you hands free to get on with the rest of the dinner. I love recipes like that!  And when they are delicious also, well . . . you can't beat them!

Apricot Chicken 
You can use whichever cut of chicken you like for this.  I like to use chicken thighs myself.  Bone in and skin on.

You can also use breasts, boneless skinless chicken, chicken leg quarters, drumsticks, etc.  I tend to not use the breasts myself because breast meat dries out very easily.  I think dark meat works much better in this recipe.

Apricot Chicken 
You put the chicken pieces in a baking dish, making sure you leave plenty of room around them for the air in the oven to flow.  You will need to season it.

Just salt and pepper.  I like to be generous with both.

Apricot Chicken 
The jam, lemon juice and nutmeg are whisked together and poured over the chicken.  You might think its a lot of nutmeg, but trust me it works.

It seems like a lot of lemon juice also, but don't worry.  The three things together mingle with the juices from the chicken to make a lush sauce that is really finger licking, lip smackingly good!

Apricot Chicken 
I have seen similar recipes where they add a pack of onion soup mix.  I prefer it without the onion soup. I think the flavor is fresher and cleaner, and works much better with chicken.

There is beef bullion powder/flavoring in onion soup mix. I don't think that goes very with chicken at all.  Just my humble opinion.  And its too salty by far.  Again, my opinion.

Apricot Chicken 
The lemon juice has a lovely fresh flavor that works very well. I always use fresh lemon juice not juice made from concentrate.  Again, a personal preference.

There is no need to brown the chicken first. It turns a beautiful golden brown color on its own as you can see, with a lovely sweet/tart and sticky skin.  

Apricot Chicken 
The original recipe did not call for this next step, but it is one I have always done.  When you are cooking chicken thighs  or leg quarters/drumsticks for that matter, they can release a lot of fat.

I don't want that fat in my sauce, so for the last fifteen minutes of cook time I drain off the sauce and return the chicken to the oven.  This enables the chicken to brown properly and get all sticky.

Apricot Chicken 
It also affords me the opportunity to skim off all the excess fat and discard it.  Leaving me only with that lush sauce, a delightful combination of apricot, lemon, nutmeg, and chicken juices.

I then reheat the juices in a saucepan on top of the hob while the chicken is finishing off in the oven.  I simply bring it to a boil (watch it) and then reduce it for a few minutes at a quick simmer.


Apricot Chicken 
This gives you a nice, sticky and slightly thick sauce to spoon over the finished chicken.  People love it.  I usually put it in a sauce boat and pass it at the table. 

This delicious chicken recipe always garners me great reviews.  People can't believe how very simple it is to make!  They always go home with the recipe!

Apricot Chicken 
No surprise there, as it is totally delicious.  Sweet and sour, with a mild under-tone of nutmeg.  People can't quite figure out what that extra special something that flavor is.

They are always surprised when I tell them its nutmeg.

Apricot Chicken 
I served it with simple accompaniments.  Just some steamed rice and a cooked vegetable.  This time it was peas and carrots.

I always add a bit of mint to the water I cook my peas and carrots in.  It really adds a nice taste. Other than that, we had a simple salad. Nothing fancy.

Apricot Chicken

Everyone was happy and enjoyed their meal.  It was a nice family meal, not stressful in the least.  

I had a few chicken thighs leftover and I enjoyed them the next day.I skinned them and chopped up the meat and added it to some of the leftover carrots, some chopped potato, onions and herbs to make myself a chicken hash for my tea.  Nothing wasted.

I really hope that you will try this simple easy recipe. You could also cook it in the slow cooker if you wanted to, but the chicken won't glaze up as nicely or turn golden brown. Also the sauce will be a lot thinner. 

Personally I think the oven is the only way to go.  Enjoy!!
 

Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken

Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 50 Min
This delicious chicken bakes very easily in the oven, leaving you hands free to do other things. No fuss, no muss and you end up with perfectly cooked, tender, juicy chicken with an amazing sauce.

Ingredients

  • 8 medium skin on, bone in chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups of apricot jam (190g)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F/ 190*C/ gas mark 5.
  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry and trim off any excess fat, discarding it. Place the chicken into a baking dish large enough to hold it all in a single layer.  Season it generously with salt and black pepper.
  3. Whisk together the jam, lemon juice and nutmeg until thoroughly amalgamated. Spread this mixture evenly over the chicken pieces. Cover tightly with foil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Uncover, pour the juices into a saucepan, then return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. 
  6. While the chicken is finishing baking skim any fat from the juices and discard.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a quick simmer and cook until it becomes as thick as you desire.
  7. Serve the chicken hot with your favorite accompaniments. (We had rice along with peas/carrots.) Pass the sauce on the side for people to enjoy as they want.
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Apricot Chicken
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10 comments

  1. Boy, this looks good, Marie and so easy. I happen to have a fresh jar of Bonne Maman apricot jam but will have to buy some chicken thighs. Quick question: when you pop it back in the oven after draining the sauce, do you cover it again with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking? I have a package of egg noodles I think would be good with it. Mid-week already. Enjoy your Wednesday. Love and hugs, Elaine

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    Replies
    1. Perfect timing Elaine! I love it when that happens! No, you leave the foil off when you pop it back into the oven. This lets it brown up a bit! I think noodles would be excellent with it! I really hope you enjoy this! Love and hugs, xoxo

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  2. Yum! This looks so delicious and tasty!

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  3. I'm going to try this version tonight! I have only made the recipe with the dried onion soup and have loved that for many, many years but I think I'm liking the simpler tastes of this one. Many blessings in your new home. It has been quite the journey for you. ♥

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    1. Thank you so very much Katy! It has been quite a journey, and I am feeling very blessed at the moment. I hope you will try this recipe and like it as much as the other version! xoxo

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  4. It makes me so happy that you are in a new home and able to have your family over for a meal. There must have been times over the last months when you doubted it would ever happen, but here you are! ((HUGS))

    I can remember that variation with the French Onion Soup mix being all the rage at dinner parties back in the 1970s! If I remember correctly it also used dried apricots and apricot nectar, but it's been decades since I made it so I can't remember.

    This sounds lovely. I've used marmalade with fish before (delicious!) but never jam with chicken, so I'm interested to try it out. And your chicken looks so beautifully brown and sticky that I'm certain we will love it. I'll add apricot jam to my shopping list :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Marie, I did have some really low points, but they didn't last for long before I bucked myself up. Its okay to feel sad from time to time, but not wallow in it. I tried not to wallow anyways. I hope you will try this chicken recipe and that you will enjoy it! Yay! Orange or lemon marmalade on fish, yum!! xoxo

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  5. Just found you and love every thing. Can you do boneless breasts"....

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    Replies
    1. Hi Malinda! Welcome! You can of course, but bear in mind that they won't take as long to cook. You need to be careful not to overcook them. 25 to 30 minutes covered, and then uncovered for no more than 10. Of course this depends on the size of them. Larger ones will take longer than smaller ones. You need to only cook until the juices run clear! xoxo

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