A simple slow cooker apricot chicken that has big fresh flavors and an intoxicating aroma – your house will smell amazing!
Oh, you guys… potty training with J this weekend was an epic fail. Little man tried hard and we certainly went potty about a thousand times, including several extended stays. But alas, he didn’t take to it. At all. (Let’s just say all 13 pairs of big boy underwear I bought were used on the first day.)
So, back to diapers we go and we’ll try again in a few more months. The weekend was not a total loss, however, as M was captured on video with this amazingness. Absolutely my favorite video! And now, onwards and upwards…
Anyone else get giddy when your house fills up with the aroma of what you’re cooking and you start to almost taste it on your tongue as you begin to salivate, like a Pavlov reaction?
The first time I made this slow cooker apricot chicken, I had stayed downstairs for several hours after starting it, working on my deadlines, cleaning up the kitchen, etc. I finally moved upstairs for a workout and shower and when I walked out of my bedroom, having pretty much forgotten about it cooking away, I was struck with the savory-sweet smell wafting up to me.
And a half-hour later, when I walked back into the house after collecting the little ones from preschool, M said, “Mommy? What’s THAT? That smells GOOD!” The whole house was filled with it and it was practically torture waiting until dinner time.
And so I nearly burned my tongue as soon as I heard the slow cooker beep that it was finished. #nopatienceAnd happily, the taste is as swoon-worthy as the smell. The depth from the tangy Dijon mustard, the sweetness of the apricots, a quick hit of acidity from the fresh lemon juice, a shot of earthiness from the thyme and the background of savory from the chicken broth, garlic and onion… it’s a flavor fest for sure!
And those onions, they are melt-in-your-mouth tender and full of the chicken and apricot flavors. The dried apricots get full and juicy and fall-apart tender as they cook. You’ll find little bits clinging to the chicken throughout the dish. Divine!
Even my husband, who is not particularly fond of main dishes that have any sweetness to them, loved this. He didn’t eat many of the apricots on their own but really enjoyed the infused flavor.
My main tip: Save ALL of the juices. I like to serve this over brown rice (couscous would also be good) and pile the chicken, onions and apricots on. Drizzle a bit of the juices over the whole plate and then serve the rest of the juices at the table. My husband added another drizzle or two and I poured, poured, poured. The chicken and rice soak up the sauce and everything really comes together as one dish.
A few other notes for you on this recipe:
- Please don’t skip searing the chicken thighs in the pan first. I know it’s an extra step — and you know I like to take shortcuts and keep things simple — but this is really crucial in sealing in the flavor.
- I also would highly recommend sticking with chicken thighs. I normally prefer chicken breasts myself, but the thighs here offer a greater depth of flavor and heartiness that’s needed to balance the light, sweet flavors of the dish.
- Any apricots that are sticking out of the cooking liquid in the slow cooker may turn brown/black. They taste fine – not burnt – but you can simply toss those pieces. There are plenty of apricots here!
- I’ve cooked this on low and on high. Mine took 6 hours on low and 3 hours 45 minutes on high, but slow cookers can vary so check your meat with a thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
We’ve had this apricot chicken several times in the last couple of months and every time I get so excited when the smell starts permeating the house.
Hope you give this a try and enjoy!
Looking for other easy, healthy slow cooker dinners? My slow cooker Mediterranean chicken is a favorite!
(P.S. don’t forget to enter the $300 Amazon gift card giveaway below – time is running out!)
Slow cooker apricot chicken
A simple slow cooker apricot chicken that has big fresh flavors and an intoxicating aroma!
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup sliced onion
- 1 cup dried apricots, halved if desired
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan.
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, until browned, turning once.
- Combine chicken broth, lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic and thyme in slow cooker and whisk to combine. (Or you can stir it all together in a small bowl and add to your slow cooker.)
- Add onions, apricots and seared chicken thighs to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Serve chicken thighs and plenty of sauce over brown rice or whole wheat couscous.
|Amount Per Serving||As Served|
|Calories 400kcal Calories from fat 103|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 11g||17%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||16%|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
|Total Fat||Less than||65g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||25g|