Fresh apricot chicken for dinner? Get some chicken breast and some apricots and you will have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
This chicken breast with apricots dish will surprise you! It might sound unfamiliar but the combination is just perfect!
I like using fruit when cooking savory dishes, as you can see in this Apple Beef Goulash for instance. I’ve also made plenty of salads like this Prawn Red Currant Salad or other salads with fruit or berries, but it was the first time I used fresh apricots in a savory dish.
We all love apricots here so I buy them a lot during their season, but I mostly use them for making apricot jam or cake or we just eat them as they are. But now, I am so happy to have discovered this recipe.
That was in summer 2016. I have made this chicken with apricots at least once every season ever since. Today I decided to take new pictures as well and to renew the post.
At first sight, you might think this apricot chicken to be a curry. It is not, or it might be if it wasn’t for all the herbs and typical European seasoning.
I suppose if you would replace the herbs with some turmeric or curry paste, you might easily turn this dish into an Indian curry. However, this is a Romanian-inspired dish.
- There are a couple of things I have noticed while cooking this fresh apricot chicken so many times. The most important of all is the use of sugar.
- The first time I cooked this, I used more sugar to work against the extreme tanginess of the fresh apricots. I don’t like using so much sugar in a savory dish, so I am always particularly careful in choosing the apricots.
- So, I would rather not make the chicken breast with apricots unless the fresh fruit I get is perfectly ripe and sweet. This way I can use less than half the amount of sugar I used before and the stew is still sweet, slightly tangy, and perfectly delicious!
- I recommend starting with 1/2 tablespoon sugar and increasing the amount to taste. It really depends on the sweetness of your apricots.
- The same goes for the amount of lemon juice you use. Start with one tablespoon, taste, and add more according to taste. If the apricots are sweet and mild you can add a bit more, if the apricots are tangier leave it to one tablespoon.
- Use ripe, sweet apricots. If you use underripe apricots, you will have to increase the amount of sugar you use. This means you will end up using more sugar than you actually want to use in a savory dish.
- Boneless, skinless breast, cut into bitesize pieces. They will be cooked in no time making this a super quick dinner as well.
- You can also make the dish with boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces.
- I used dried thyme, fresh parsley, and fresh thyme. The fresh thyme is optional, use it if you have it.
How to make fresh apricot chicken?
- Cut the meat into bitesize pieces.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the meat pieces until lightly golden on both sides, about 4-5 minutes. They should not be cooked through.
- In the meantime, slice the green onions. Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Cut each half in 2-3 wedges, depending on their size.
- Add the onions and the apricots to the pot, add lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, sugar, and stock.
- Bring to a boil, it will happen almost instantly. Cover, lower the heat. Simmer for about 7-8 minutes until the meat is cooked through yet still very tender. The apricots should be soft yet not totally mushy.
- For a thicker sauce: mix together the cornstarch with about 2 teaspoons cold water. The slurry should be thick yet pourable.
- Whisk the slurry into the sauce and let bubble a couple of times until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Adjust the taste with salt, pepper, and a little more sugar and/or lemon juice, if necessary. The dish should taste sweet and sour.
- Sprinkle the chopped herbs on top and stir in carefully.
Serve and store
Serve the chicken breast with apricots immediately with rice and steamed vegetables or salad.
Leftover keep well in the fridge, for 2-3 days. Reheat well before serving again.
More chicken and fruit or berries:
Fresh Apricot Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breast boneless and skinless
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 bunch green onions about 5-6
- 1 lb ripe apricots about 10-12 small ones
- zest of 1/2 organic lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ -1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 heaped teaspoon cornstarch
- 2-3 teaspoons cold water
- 1 bunch parsley
- a few sprigs fresh thyme optional
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chop the chicken breasts into mouth-sized pieces. Chop the onions into rings. Zest the lemon. Remove the stone from the apricots and slice each apricot half into 2-3 wedges, depending on their size.
- Heat the oil in a large pan/stewing pan and fry the chicken pieces until lightly golden on all sides but not yet cooked through about 4-5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chicken with the dried thyme and add the green onions, apricot wedges, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, ½ tablespoon of the sugar, and stock.
- Simmer: Stir carefully, cover the pan, bring to a boil and cook gently for about 7-8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the apricots are tender but not completely mushy.
- Thicken sauce: If you want the sauce to be thicker, mix the cornstarch with about 2 teaspoons cold water, the slurry should be thick yet pourable. Whisk the slurry into the sauce and let bubble a couple of times until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Taste the apricot chicken and add more sugar or lemon juice to your liking. The dish should taste sweet-sour. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the chopped herbs and serve with rice.