Apricot Chicken With Balsamic Vinegar Recipe

by vitus
Apricot Chicken With Balsamic Vinegar

I was craving a weeknight dinner that was easy and flavorful. Look no further than apricot chicken with balsamic vinegar! This dish is a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and savory, with juicy chicken pieces bathed in a glossy apricot balsamic glaze.

What Is Apricot Chicken With Balsamic Vinegar?

Apricot chicken with balsamic vinegar is a delicious dish that combines the sweet and tangy flavors of apricot with the richness of balsamic vinegar. 

Ingredients:

For The Chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces for pan-frying or whole for roasting)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For The Sauce:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup apricot jam (or preserves)
  • 1-1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 20 dried apricots (whole or halved)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

Pan-Fried Chicken:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. (Optional) Add chopped onion to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, until softened.
  4. Pour in balsamic vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and let it reduce for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add apricot jam, chicken broth, and thyme. Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer again.
  6. Add the apricots and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and the apricots soften a bit.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan and coat it with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Roasted Chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place chicken pieces in a baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Toss to coat evenly.
  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes for chicken breasts, or 35-40 minutes for chicken thighs, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
  5. During the last 10 minutes of roasting, add the apricots to the baking dish.
  6. Once cooked, transfer the chicken and apricots to a serving plate and spoon the pan juices over them.

Tips:

  • Chicken selection: If you prefer dark meat, use chicken thighs instead of breasts. They will take a few extra minutes to cook through but will result in a more flavorful dish.
  • Adjusting sweetness: Depending on the tartness of your balsamic vinegar and the sweetness of your apricot jam, you may want to adjust the amount of each ingredient in the sauce. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • Thicken the sauce: If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the pan and simmer for a minute or two until the sauce thickens.
  • Serving suggestions: This dish pairs well with mashed potatoes, rice, couscous, or roasted vegetables. You can also serve it with a simple green salad.
  • Leftovers: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.

What To Serve With

  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic and comforting side that pairs well with the rich sauce of the apricot chicken with balsamic vinegar. You can keep it simple with butter, milk, salt, and pepper, or add some garlic, herbs, or roasted cheese for extra flavor.
  • Rice: Plain white rice is a neutral option that allows the flavors of the chicken to shine. However, you can also dress up your rice with some chopped vegetables, herbs, or a sprinkle of saffron for a more flavorful accompaniment.
  • Couscous: This light and fluffy grain is another good option, especially if you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish. You can prepare couscous according to package instructions and then toss it with some olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like parsley or mint.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa is a healthy and protein-rich grain that adds a nutty flavor to the meal. You can cook quinoa simply with water or vegetable broth and then fluff it with a fork before serving.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and caramelizes them slightly, which creates a delicious contrast with the tangy balsamic sauce. Good options include broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, asparagus, or a combination of your favorites. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices you like before roasting.
  • Green Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette helps to cut through the richness of the dish. You can add some dried cranberries, feta cheese, or chopped nuts for extra flavor and texture.
  • Garlic Green Beans: Sautéed green beans with garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice offer a bright and flavorful side dish that complements the apricot chicken well.
  • Crusty Bread: A loaf of crusty bread is perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce from your plate. Choose a sourdough, baguette, or any other type of bread you enjoy.
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes add a touch of sweetness to the meal and pair well with the savory chicken. You can roast them whole or cut them into cubes and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some spices like cinnamon or cumin.
  • Meal balance: If you’re already serving a starchy side like mashed potatoes or rice, choose a lighter vegetable side dish.
  • Time constraints: If you’re short on time, a simple green salad or roasted vegetables are quick and easy options.
  • Dietary needs: Consider any dietary restrictions you or your guests may have when choosing your side dishes.

Health Benefits 

  • Lean Protein: Chicken is the primary ingredient in apricot chicken. It is a rich source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function. Protein also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, making it beneficial for weight management.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Apricots, which are used in the sauce for apricot chicken, are packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. Vitamin A is essential for vision health, while vitamin C supports the immune system and promotes healthy skin. Potassium is vital for heart health and maintaining proper fluid balance in the body.
  • Antioxidants: Both apricots and balsamic vinegar contain antioxidants that help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can lead to oxidative stress and contribute to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and aging. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, reducing the risk of these health issues.
  • Heart Health: Balsamic vinegar contains acetic acid, which has been linked to several heart health benefits, including reducing cholesterol levels, improving blood circulation, and lowering blood pressure. Additionally, the lean protein from chicken and the potassium from apricots can also support heart health by reducing the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Digestive Health: Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps prevent constipation, promotes regular bowel movements, and supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Balsamic vinegar, when consumed in moderation, may also aid digestion by stimulating the production of stomach acid and enzymes that help break down food.
  • Weight Management: Apricot chicken with balsamic vinegar can be a nutritious and satisfying meal option for individuals looking to manage their weight. The lean protein from chicken helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Additionally, the fiber from apricots and the low-calorie content of balsamic vinegar contribute to a balanced meal that supports weight loss or maintenance goals.
  • Low in Unhealthy Fats: When prepared without excessive amounts of added fats or oils, apricot chicken with balsamic vinegar is a relatively low-fat dish. By choosing skinless chicken breast and using minimal oil for cooking, you can enjoy the health benefits of this dish without worrying about consuming excessive amounts of unhealthy fats.

Final thoughts

Apricot chicken with balsamic vinegar is a delightful dish that’s both easy to prepare and bursting with flavor. It’s a perfect weeknight meal that’s sure to please the whole family.

More Meat Recipes:

Spatchcocked Grilled Chicken

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 197 calories 30 grams fat

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces for pan-frying or whole for roasting)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup apricot jam (or preserves)
  • 1-1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 20 dried apricots (whole or halved)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (optional)

Instructions

Pan-Fried Chicken:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. (Optional) Add chopped onion to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, until softened.
  4. Pour in balsamic vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and let it reduce for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add apricot jam, chicken broth, and thyme. Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer again.
  6. Add the apricots and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and the apricots soften a bit.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan and coat it with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Roasted Chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place chicken pieces in a baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Toss to coat evenly.
  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes for chicken breasts, or 35-40 minutes for chicken thighs, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
  5. During the last 10 minutes of roasting, add the apricots to the baking dish.
  6. Once cooked, transfer the chicken and apricots to a serving plate and spoon the pan juices over them.

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