In two short days Paul and I will be celebrating our three year wedding anniversary (in an airport BTW on our way to Colorado for a whitewater rafting trip with family and friends – more on that later)! Seriously, how did we get to three years of marriage already?! With three years of dating (including our engagement), we’ve now been together for six years. Some people may be reading this and rolling their eyes because a six year relationship is nothing to them. But for me six years is a big deal! The good news is that I still like Paul. I think I’ll keep him around for another six years, maybe more. I mean, he is good at washing the dishes and a food blogger always needs a good dish washer around! KIDDING, Paul, kidding! 😉
What does our three year wedding anniversary have to do with One Pan Apricot Chicken? Because our caterer served apricot chicken at our wedding and it was amazing! Yes, I still remember what we served at our wedding three years ago – and not just because I taste-tested and planned the menu carefully with our caterer, but because I have a freaky good food memory. You gotta know that this apricot chicken was really good because Paul also remembers it very well and, trust me, he doesn’t have a good food memory. At dinner he can’t remember what he ate for lunch earlier the same day. So I guess you could say our wedding apricot chicken was memorable!
Naturally I just couldn’t resist recreating the apricot chicken from our wedding. You know what? It was as good as I remember, if not better.
The best part is that this recipe, as the name says, only uses one pan. I know Paul is a huge fan of these one-pan dishes I make because there is less mess for him to clean up. Plus, the recipe is incredibly easy to make. All you do is cook your chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet for about 5 minutes per side, remove and cover with foil to keep warm. Then you make the sauce: a little white wine, chicken stock, and orange juice, and plenty of fresh ripe apricots that have been chopped + some honey for added sweetness. Cook those babies down until everything turns into a thick, sticky sweet sauce. Stir in a little fresh thyme for color and fragrance and some orange zest for depth. Spoon that luscious, sweet sauce over the warm chicken breasts and you’ve got one impressive dinner. See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Maybe it’s because this One Pan Apricot Chicken reminds me of our wedding but I think this would make a great meal for date night, or double date night. It’s a little bit fancy and elegant, yet it’s still simple enough for a weeknight recipe.
To make One Pan Apricot Chicken a complete meal you could quickly roast up some broccoli (like I did for the pictures), or my Easy Roasted Lemon Asparagus. Or make a side salad; may I suggest my Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing? Any of those options would complement the Apricot chicken nicely. Dinner is served; you’re welcome!
Also in celebration of our three year anniversary I thought I would share the story of how Paul and I met. It’s a good one, and don’t worry, it’s not too mushy! Are you ready?!
- Paul and I went to the same small college, we graduated the same year, we even had a few mutual friends, but we did not meet in college. We met through mutual friends a few months after we graduated.
- Paul’s dad was my professor for several classes and my thesis adviser my senior year.
- When I met Paul I had just started working for his cousin as a swim instructor and lifeguard at the YMCA.
- Once I learned that I pretty much knew Paul’s family I didn’t like him anymore – way too awkward! How would I tell my boss that I was dating her cousin?!
- The first time Paul asked me to be his girlfriend I said “No” – because again, how was I going to tell my boss?!
- Three weeks later I got over the awkwardness and we were officially dating. And we’ve never looked back!
- P.S. I was too chicken to tell my boss that I was dating her cousin. I only told her that I knew her cousin and we had hung out a few times with friends, which was true. She ended up finding out through Facebook. I KNOW! Terrible!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this One Pan Apricot Chicken as much as Paul and I did. Unfortunately we will be eating airport food on our anniversary day, but it’s all worth it to get to Colorado! Hey, maybe we’ll splurge and order a drink on the airplane. What a good idea! 🙂
- 4 chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 8 to 9 ripe apricots (about 2 cups when chopped)
- ½ cup dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (set it aside)
- Juice of 1 orange
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon Honey (or more if needed depending on the sweetness of your apricots)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place your chicken breasts on a plate and sprinkle the side facing up with salt and pepper. Heat up the oil for a minute. Place the chicken breasts seasoned side down in the skillet. Sprinkle the bare side facing up with salt and pepper. Cook chicken breasts 5 to 8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove chicken breasts onto a clean plate or dish and cover with foil to keep warm.
- While the chicken is cooking chop up your apricots into 1 inch pieces and zest the orange, then measure out the liquid ingredients for the sauce.
- To make the sauce add wine, chicken broth, orange juice, chopped apricots, honey, and salt to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and allow the sauce to come a boil. Boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should reduce by half and the apricots should break down a little but still be pretty chunky. The sauce should be pretty thick and cling to the back of your spoon.
- NOTE: If you need to thicken the sauce a little add ½ teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch to a small bowl. Whisk it with a little water and stir it into the sauce. Allow it to cook for 1 minute until the sauce thickens a little. I didn’t always find this to be necessary but it’s good to do if the apricots start falling apart too much.
- Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more salt for saltiness, or more honey if the sauce is too tart.
- Remove from heat and stir in the thyme leaves and the orange zest. Spoon over the warm chicken breasts. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in separate containers, keeping the sauce separate from the chicken. Reheat gently.