Apricot Chicken

The sauce for this dish will brighten up even the dreariest of days. A simple sheet pan bake, a quick whiz of the sauce in the blender and you’re ready to go! This recipe is eminently scalable – it works just as well for a solo dinner as for a group of eight! The recipe below is for one serving, simply multiply for more people.

Apricot Chicken

  • Servings: 1+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
Chicken thighs are moister and more flavorful, but if you want to use chicken breasts instead, reduce the heat to 375º F and reduce the bake time to 20-25 minutes. You can substitute celery for fennel if it is not readily available – 2 ribs of celery per serving. Make sure you use sulfured apricots because they maintain their vibrant orange color and their flavor is significantly more tart. I soaked them in dry vermouth because I like how its astringency balances against the sweet-tart apricots, but you could swap that out for dry white wine, brandy, or even orange juice!

Ingredients

    • 6-7 dried apricots
    • 1/3 cup dry vermouth
    • 1/4 of a medium yellow onion, cut into chunks
    • 1 medium carrot, cut into chunks
    • 1/2 of a medium bulb of fennel, thickly sliced
    • 1 medium chicken thigh, bone-in with skin on
    • 1 small pat of unsalted butter
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
    • Unsalted chicken stock, as needed to loosen sauce

Directions

Soak the dried apricots in the dry vermouth while you prepare the other vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400º F. Roughly chop the onion, carrot, and fennel. Scatter evenly in the center of a foil-covered baking pan.

Trim any excess skin or fat from the chicken thigh. Rub the pat of butter between your palms and then rub the melted butter onto the skin of each chicken thigh. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Nestle the rosemary sprig and the plumped apricots among the vegetables, reserving any additional soaking liquid for the sauce, and place the chicken thigh on top of the vegetables and apricots.

Bake uncovered in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the thickest part of the chicken thigh reads 165º F on a meat thermometer.

Remove the pan from the oven and pour the reserved soaking liquid over the vegetable, using it to gently scrape up any browned juices. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Set chicken thigh and one attractive whole apricot aside. Remove the sprig of rosemary. Pour the remaining vegetables and apricots into a blender with along with any pan juices. Blend into a sauce, adding unsalted chicken stock one tablespoon at a time until the sauce is a smooth, thick gravy that coats the back of a spoon. Taste for flavor – add a pinch more salt and pepper if needed.

Spoon the sauce over the chicken thigh and top with reserved whole apricot. Toss remaining sauce with egg noodles, rice, or the side of your choice.

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