Celebrating National Apricot Day with Crockpot Apricot Chicken
Imagine waking up to the sweet aroma of a juicy apricot chicken, slow-cooked to perfection, wafting from your kitchen. Doesn’t it sound delightful? Well, it’s no surprise that we, at My Sparkling Life, decided to create a unique recipe to celebrate National Apricot Day on Jan 9, 2017. Our choice? A mouth-watering crockpot apricot chicken that even the kiddos couldn’t resist!
As a foodie, I find joy in using jams and jellies in unconventional ways. Remember the PB & J Smoothie? Well, this apricot chicken is another addition to that culinary adventure. Before we dive into the recipe, bear in mind that this recipe can feed a large family, specifically a family of 7. So, let’s get started!
The Ingredients You Need
Ready to cook up a storm? Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 jars (15oz) of Apricot Fruit Spread
- 5 lbs chicken thighs or cut up chicken breasts
- 2 lbs asparagus
- 3 tbs garlic
- 1 box garlic panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbs salt
- 1 tbs pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbs of parsley or cilantro
Steps to Create Your Crockpot Apricot Chicken
Ready to start cooking? Here’s how to make your crockpot apricot chicken:
For the Apricot Chicken:
- Start by mixing together 1 jar of apricot fruit spread, 1 tbs garlic, salt, & pepper into a large bowl.
- Sear the chicken in a skillet, then transfer it into your crockpot.
- Next, pour the apricot mixture over the chicken & let it slow-cook on low for about 3-4 hours.
- While your chicken is cooking, mix together the rest of the second jar of apricot fruit spread, 1 tbs garlic, & either parsley or cilantro.
- Once the chicken is done, remove it from the crockpot and place onto a sprayed sheet pan.
- Finally, coat the chicken with the apricot mixture and bake at 450* for about 10 minutes.
For Panko Crusted Asparagus:
- Scramble eggs in a low dish & mix in about 1-2 tbs of apricot fruit spread.
- Next, wash the asparagus. Dip each stalk into flour, then the egg mixture, then panko bread crumbs. Place them onto a sprayed sheet pan, leaving space in between each stalk.
- Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.
Once everything’s done, serve your crockpot apricot chicken with the panko crusted asparagus & some garlic rice (I recommend using RiceARoni). I know it sounds like a lot of garlic, but trust me, it’s not! The garlic complements each piece of the meal, adding a hint of flavor without being overwhelming.
Delicious, isn’t it? The unique blend of sweet and savory from the apricot, coupled with the slow-cooked, juicy chicken, makes this recipe a hit for any occasion. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to impress your family with your culinary skills by cooking up this crockpot apricot chicken!
This post may contain affiliate links which fund the My Sparkling Life blog.
| | Apricot Chicken Recipe |
| Date | Jan 9, 2017 |
| National Day | National Apricot Day |
| Recipe Type | Main Dish |
| Servings | Family of 7 |
| Ingredients | 2 jars (15oz) Apricot Fruit Spread, 5 lbs chicken thighs or cut up chicken breasts, 2 lbs asparagus, 3 tbs garlic, 1 box garlic panko bread crumbs, 1 tbs salt, 1 tbs pepper, 2 eggs, 1 cup flour, 1 tbs of parsley or cilanto |
| Instructions | Mix together 1 jar apricot fruit spread, garlic, salt & pepper. Sear chicken then place into crockpot. Pour apricot mixture over chicken & let cook on low for 3-4 hours. Mix together the rest of apricot fruit spread, garlic & parsley or cilantro. Remove from crockpot and place onto sprayed sheet pan. Coat chicken with apricot mixture and bake at 450* for about 10 minutes. |
| Accompanying Dish | Panko Crusted Asparagus: Scramble eggs & mix in apricot fruit spread. Wash asparagus dip into flour, then egg mixture then panko bread crumbs and place onto sprayed sheet pan leaving space in between each stock. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. |
| Served With | Chicken & garlic rice |
| Ideal For | Large family meals, celebrating National Apricot Day |
| Recipe URL | [Link](https://mysparklinglife.com/pbj-smoothie-recipe/) |
Understanding the Magic of Crockpot Cooking
One of the key aspects that make this crockpot apricot chicken recipe so magical is the crockpot itself. The crockpot, also known as a slow cooker, is a countertop electrical cooking appliance used to simmer at a lower temperature than other cooking methods. This slow cooking allows for unattended cooking for many hours of dishes that would otherwise be boiled, like stews, pot roasts, and soups.
When it comes to chicken, slow cooking in a crockpot allows the flavors to penetrate deeper into the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender dish. The apricot chicken, in this case, becomes incredibly juicy and tender, with the sweet and tangy notes of the apricot spreading throughout every bite.
Choosing the Right Ingredients for Your Crockpot Apricot Chicken
While our recipe calls for specific ingredients, you can always tweak it to suit your taste buds. For instance, if you’re not a fan of chicken thighs, you can use chicken breasts or even a whole chicken. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
When it comes to apricot fruit spread, we recommend using a brand that uses real fruit and minimal artificial flavorings. This will give your dish a more authentic, fruity flavor. If apricot isn’t your thing, feel free to experiment with other fruity spreads like peach, cherry, or even apple!
Pairing Your Crockpot Apricot Chicken
Our recipe includes panko crusted asparagus and garlic rice as sides, but there are plenty of other options out there. For a low-carb option, you could serve the chicken over a bed of cauliflower rice or with a side of roasted vegetables. If you prefer something heartier, mashed potatoes or a simple pasta salad would pair beautifully with the sweet and savory chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions About Crockpot Apricot Chicken
Can I use fresh apricots instead of apricot fruit spread?
Yes, you can use fresh apricots. However, you would need to cook them down with some sugar to create a similar consistency and sweetness to the fruit spread.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Definitely! One of the great things about crockpot recipes is that they’re perfect for meal prep. You can cook the chicken ahead of time and simply reheat it when you’re ready to eat.
What should I do if my sauce doesn’t thicken?
If your sauce isn’t thickening as much as you’d like, you can remove the chicken from the crockpot and simmer the sauce on the stovetop. This will allow the sauce to reduce and thicken.
Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this crockpot apricot chicken recipe is a must-try. It’s easy to make, packed with flavors, and perfect for a family meal. So why not give it a try and celebrate National Apricot Day in style? Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and having fun. So feel free to play around with the recipe and make it your own. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use fresh apricots instead of apricot fruit spread?
While the recipe specifically calls for apricot fruit spread, you can use fresh apricots. However, you may need to adjust the quantity and add additional sugar or honey to achieve the desired sweetness.
2. Can I use a different type of meat for this recipe?
Yes, you can. While we recommend chicken thighs or breasts for this recipe, you can substitute them with other meats such as pork or turkey.
3. Can I cook the chicken for longer than 3-4 hours?
Yes, you can. However, cooking the chicken for too long may result in it becoming overly soft and losing its texture. We recommend cooking it for 3-4 hours for the best results.
Yes, you can substitute panko breadcrumbs with regular breadcrumbs or even crushed cornflakes. However, panko breadcrumbs provide a unique texture that enhances the dish.
5. Can I make this dish in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the apricot chicken and asparagus in advance. However, we recommend baking it just before serving to ensure it remains crispy.
6. Can I freeze the leftover apricot chicken?
Yes, leftover apricot chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months. Ensure it is stored in an airtight container to maintain its flavor and texture.
7. Is this dish kid-friendly?
Yes, the crockpot apricot chicken is a kid-friendly dish. The sweet and savory flavors of the apricot chicken are generally well-liked by children.
8. Can I use other vegetables instead of asparagus?
Yes, you can substitute asparagus with other vegetables like green beans or broccoli. However, the cooking time may vary depending on the vegetable used.
9. What other side dishes can I serve with the apricot chicken?
While we recommend serving the apricot chicken with panko crusted asparagus and garlic rice, you can also serve it with mashed potatoes, a fresh salad, or steamed vegetables.
10. What can I do if my apricot chicken is too sweet?
If your apricot chicken is too sweet, you can balance it out by adding some lemon juice or vinegar. This will add a tangy flavor that can counteract the sweetness.
11. Can I use a different herb instead of parsley or cilantro?
Yes, you can substitute parsley or cilantro with other herbs like thyme or rosemary. However, the flavor profile may slightly change.
12. Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?
Yes, you can use boneless chicken for this recipe. However, bone-in chicken tends to be juicier and more flavorful.