Roasted Apricot Chicken

Roasted Apricot Chicken is my take on an old homemaker’s recipe that typically consists of chicken roasted in a sauce of apricot preserves and store-bought Thousand Island dressing. The old version is warming, sticky, and downright delicious. However, since I’m not a huge fan of preservative-laden store-bought dressings, I endeavored to try a version with a homemade Thousand Island and it turned out phenomenal! I enjoy this chicken served over rice, couscous, or roasted cauliflower, and it never disappoints!

Ingredients needed to make Roasted Apricot Chicken

Since we’re making our own dressing here (which is, of course, optional) the ingredient list is a bit lengthier than usual. It’s nothing you can’t handle, I promise. To make the actual chicken, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs and drumsticks (bone-in, skin-on)
  • Apricot jam
  • Thousand Island dressing (homemade, or store-bought)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, for greasing

The ingredients in my homemade version of Thousand Island dressing are likely ones you already have in your pantry or fridge, which is a plus. Trust me here, it’s SO much better than store-bought ones. It’s tangier, a little spicy, and just so much more well-rounded in flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sour cream OR plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Ketchup
  • Juice from a jar of dill pickles
  • Hot sauce (I love this locally made one)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Tools used to make Roasted Apricot Chicken

In stark contrast to the ingredients list, you don’t need that many kitchen tools to make this delicious Roasted Apricot Chicken! To start, you will need a cutting board and chef’s knife to chop up all that delicious fresh parsley for both the dressing and the garnish. In addition, you’ll need the following:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large cast-iron skillet (at least 12 inches in diameter) OR 9x13in baking dish
  • Whisk
  • Lemon juicer (optional, but handy, and this is the BEST one EVER)

That’s it! Let’s get to cooking!

How to make Roasted Apricot Chicken

The process to make this Roasted Apricot Chicken could not be simpler. You start by combining all of the ingredients for the Thousand Island dressing in a mixing bowl. Make sure you use one that is large enough to add the apricot jam to once the dressing is finished, so you don’t have to dirty another bowl. If you aren’t using homemade Thousand Island, you can skip that step.

Once your dressing is made, add the apricot jam and whisk to combine. Pour the entire mixture over the chicken and place in the oven. The sauce will be thick to start, but thins out as the chicken cooks and releases its yummy juices. Once the chicken is cooked through, I like to let it go under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the tops of the chicken.

Garnish the whole thing with more fresh parsley, and serve with sides of your choice! I love spooning all that luscious sauce over steamed rice, couscous, quinoa, or roasted cauliflower. It’s so tasty!

Looking for other mouth-watering chicken recipes?

Try these other recipes by The Ardent Cook!

Red Curry Pulled Chicken with Turmeric-Lime Rice

Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings

Quick(er) Chicken Shawarma with White Sauce

Chicken with Nectarines and Crispy Prosciutto

Crispy Cast-Iron Chicken Thighs with Black Pepper Gravy

Recipe Ingredients

For the Roasted Apricot Chicken

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks, patted dry 

1 10oz jar apricot jam

2 cups Thousand Island dressing (homemade or store-bought)

Parsley, for serving

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

¾ cup sour-cream or plain, full-fat Greek yogurt

½ cup ketchup

⅛ cup dill pickle juice (from a jar of store-bought dill pickles)

2 tbsp + 1 tsp hot sauce, such as Frank’s 

¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce

Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tbsp)

Small handful (approx. 3 tbsp) fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large cast-iron skillet OR glass baking dish (at least 9×13, but larger will work).
  2. Make the thousand-island dressing, if not using store-bought. Add all dressing ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Taste for salt and pepper, and season accordingly. Add apricot jam and whisk again until combined.
  3. Add the chicken to the skillet or baking dish, skin side up, and pour sauce all over.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, place under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the skin has browned. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice with parsley and enjoy!

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