Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken is the perfect summertime recipe, when the backyard apricot tree is full and your stomach is empty. A sweet and sticky chicken recipe from yesteryear. Of course with a few updates. The original retro recipe has too many processed ingredients, and no fresh apricots! That's of no use during apricot season! Plus it's much healthier made from scratch!
What is Apricot Chicken?
Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken is a recipe that I can't quite nail down the origins of. It's very popular here in Australia, and I've heard there are versions in the UK and America. Commonly made as a slow cooker recipe.
Think of this as a retro 1970's and beyond, dinner recipe. Often Dried Onion Soup packet mix features prominently, with apricot nectar, dried apricots and apricot jam. While in theory, using onion mix doesn't sound terrible. I have a French Onion Potatoes recipe that's very popular. But when using fresh apricots, it's tastier to make it all from scratch, the real way!
Some American recipes use Catalina Salad Dressing, or French Dressing with Apricot Jam as the base with the onion soup mix. I prefer to use real Apricots. When it's Apricot season, you need to find as many fresh Apricot recipes as you can, as they ripen so quickly!
How to Make Apricot Chicken From Scratch
This Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken recipe is made from scratch using fresh Apricots. Fresh onion and garlic is sautéed before adding fresh Apricots. This makes your sweet base for your slow cooker chicken. I always use chicken thighs that are boneless and skinless. When the slow cooker cooks the meat, it falls apart, tender, juicy and full of flavor.
Other people use skin on chicken with the bone in the thighs. This also is a flavorful way of making Apricot Chicken, it's your choice to decide your favorite way. Chicken breasts tend to overcook and dry out, so I always default to using chicken thighs.
Sear the chicken thighs before placing them into the slow cooker. This gives them better flavor. Pour the sauce over the chicken, leave for a few hours and there you have it! Oh and I almost forgot my secret ingredient.... Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. A sweet and spicy chili sauce that's made from mostly peppers and garlic. It's the perfect addition for a bit of a spicy kick and works perfectly with this recipe. If you like it spicier, add a fresh chili pepper.
All Asian grocers have the Sweet Chili Sauce, and it's carried by most supermarkets. When you add the chili sauce into the Apricot mix, just taste and adjust the spiciness if necessary.
How to Thicken the Apricot Sauce
Yes, it's best to thicken this recipe when it's done. I find the Apricot sauce a bit too runny for my liking. I mix 1 heaping teaspoon of corn starch with 1 tablespoon of water. Mix it into a slurry and add it into the slow cooker, just before I'm ready to feed my hungry family. When serving Apricot Chicken, I place the chicken over the rice, then spoon over the thickened sauce. It looks much more appetizing, especially when I garnish with a bit of chopped parsley.
Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken, made with fresh apricots and no unpronounceable ingredients. This is a real Apricot Chicken recipe! Your family will love this summer dinner favorite. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Apricot Chicken with Fresh Apricots
- 2 lbs 1/kg Chicken Thighs
- 2 lbs 1/kg fresh Apricots without seeds
- 1 large Onion
- 4 cloves Garlic
- ½ cup Sugar add extra ¼ cup if necessary
- ½ cup Chicken Stock
- ¼ cup of Sweet Chili Sauce
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon corn starch for slurry
- Sear the Chicken Thighs then place inside the slow cooker.
- Caramelise the onions and garlic. Add the ripe fresh Apricots into the pot. Cook down together for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, break down the ripe Apricots as they cook, until they start to resemble a jam.
- Add the Sugar, mix and taste. Add more if necessary.
- Add the Chicken Stock, Paprika, Black Pepper and Sweet Chili Sauce. Taste and add more Chili Sauce if required.
- Pour over the chicken thighs in the stock pot and cook on high for 2.5 hours.
- To make a thicken slurry, mix the 1 heaped teaspoon of corn start with 1 tablespoon of water. Mix until there is no lumps. Add to the Apricot Chicken sauce to thicken. Mix it in the slow cooker for about 2 minutes to allow to thicken.
- Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.