My Apricot Onion Chicken is an easy to make vintage recipe with a delicious sweet and sour flavour. It’s perfect for a midweek treat or easy entertaining – and as is so often true of my recipes, there’s a real story behind it.
Once upon a time, when my husband and I were first together, he invited his parents round to dinner. I had only met them once or twice before and the idea of cooking for them made me very nervous indeed. We looked like this back then, my husband and I.
This was over twenty-five years ago and I was still new to England. I was still getting used to the different stoves, ingredients and measurements. Having used a large Canadian electric stove I was struggling with the smaller and much fiercer British fan ovens. I had already had my fair share of disasters.
Frankly, I’d only ever really cooked desserts, cookies and sweets in Canada. My mom did the bulk of the main course cooking. The few recipes I had in my repertoire for main dishes were going to be hard to translate and anyway, I only had a couple days to pull something together.
Getting By With A Little Help From My Friends
I was working as a personal assistant in London at the time and I shared my anxiety with my junior secretary, a bubbly girl from Australia with gorgeous red hair whose name I sadly can’t remember. She shared a recipe that she promised was absolutely no fail. It involved chicken breasts, apricot jam and….ahem…dried onion soup mix. I was a bit skeptical as the ingredients didn’t really sound like they went together but I was desperate, so I tried her recipe. Sure enough, it worked a treat. The in-laws raved – as did my husband. Even I had to admit it tasted fantastic.
Fast forward several years and the recipe is still one I make often. Only I’m not so sure about dried onion soup mix anymore because I worry about processed foods. It’s also very hard for me to source in England, and there are only so many packets of Lipton Onion Soup Mix you can bring back from North America in your luggage! So I decided to give the Apricot Onion Chicken recipe a bit of a healthy makeover by using fresh onions and chicken stock instead of the soup mix.
The recipe does contain rather a large amount of jam so it is hard to put it in the healthy eating category. However, I use a high fruit variety of jam made with easily pronounceable ingredients. This means that while it may not be totally healthy, I have no hesitation whatsoever in calling my Apricot Onion Chicken wholesome.
A Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipe
Apricot Onion Chicken is super easy. The only real time it takes is sautéing the onions which you can do while the chicken cooks in the oven. The sweetness of the jam melds perfectly with the onions and makes a sauce that is delicious every time.
Whether you serve my Apricot Onion Chicken as a midweek treat or save it for entertaining, it is sure to become a family favourite.
Apricot Onion Chicken – Printable Recipe
Apricot Onion Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil divided
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion red if possible, peeled and finely sliced
- ½ cup good high fruit apricot jam preferably with pieces of apricot in it
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence a blend of savory spices that usually includes rosemary, thyme, basil, savory and marjoram
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Place the chicken breasts in an ovenproof dish and brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until no pink remains inside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Gently sauté the onions for about fifteen minutes or until they begin to soften.
- Turn up the heat a bit and add the chicken stock, scraping any bits of onion up off the pan to mix thoroughly.
- Add the jam, breaking it up with a fork if necessary, and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick and syrupy. Be careful the sauce doesn’t start to catch or burn; turn the heat down immediately and remove the pan from the heat if it is threatening to do that.
- Add the cooked chicken breasts to the pan and turn lightly in the sauce.
- Serve the chicken breasts with the sauce spooned over top alongside potatoes or rice and a green vegetable.