Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Thighs or Apricot Chicken Thighs in Crockpot is one of those recipes that will stay with you for a long long time. I mean as a food memory!
We don't get Apricot Preserves often, but, when we do, I make sure I make Apricot Chicken Thighs in Slow Cooker. It's one of the best recipes with Apricot that you can make. If you've not tried Apricot Chicken until now, you should. Make sure you try - Instant Pot Peach Chicken in Honey Balsamic Sauce
Apricot Chicken tastes best in the slow cooker. But, you can also make it on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot or you can simply bake them. But, as I said, it tastes best in the slow cooker.
- What is the Origin of Apricot Chicken?
- Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
- How to Make Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Apricot Chicken Thighs
- Baked Apricot Chicken Thighs
- What to Serve with Apricot Chicken?
- Can I Store Apricot Chicken
- Bonus Tips
- More Crockpot Recipes
- Recipe Card
- Apricot Chicken Thighs in Crockpot
What is the Origin of Apricot Chicken?
Legend has it that Lipton company created Apricot chicken as another use for its dried soup mix. It came from Australia and was introduced to America in 1952.
The funny thing is that the company still produces this dried soup mix labeled as - "ideal for Apricot chicken".
Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
Apricot Chicken has a jammy, sweet, lightly spicy taste. My secret ingredient - Coconut cream. I was planning to make Apricot coconut balls in the next week. So, I thought why not use the combination of coconut and Apricot in this chicken recipe?
Well, I was not wrong. Coconut adds a nutty undertone to this dish making it taste so damn good.
Or it could be my inclination towards Thai food that I love adding a nutty undertone of coconut in my chicken recipes. Try recipes like - Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry (KETO) or Thai Red Coconut Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice or Crockpot Coconut Lime Chicken and etc.
These are the ingredients that I've used to make Coconut Apricot Chicken Thighs.
- Chicken Thighs - I have used skinless chicken with bone-in. You can use boneless chicken thighs as well.
- Apricot Preserve - Any store bought Apricot Preserve would do or Apricot Jam
- Soy Sauce - Soy Sauce adds a salty touch to this dish.
- Dijon Mustard - Dijon Mustard adds a sharp taste to this.
- Olive Oil - To sear chicken thighs
- Red Pepper Flakes - To spice it up.
- Grated Ginger - can be replaced with ground ginger.
- Coconut Cream - can be replaced with coconut milk or heavy cream
See the recipe card for quantities. And, see the video for a visual.
How to Make Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Thighs
Step 1: Heat a skillet with olive oil.
Step 2: Add chicken skin side down and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Step 3: Sear both sides until browned. This takes about 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat.
Step 4: In your slow cooker pot add Apricot Preserves, Dijon Mustard, Soy Sauce, Grated Ginger, Red Pepper Flakes, and Coconut Cream. Stir well until combined. Add pan-seared chicken thighs and cover the slow cooker with a glass lid.
Step 5: Slow cook in High for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Open the lid and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Here are some crazy-good variations that will help you achieve the best taste.
- Chopped Almonds & Cashews- Apricot is a Turkish fruit and therefore something nutty like Chopped Almonds or Cashews will pair well.
- Cranberry - Apricot pairs well with Cranberry. So you can add some fresh or dried cranberry to this dish.
- Sichuan Pepper - You can add a teaspoon of Sichuan Pepper to spice up the dish.
- Rosemary- If you can add a spring of fresh Rosemary while sautéing chicken you are in for a treat.
- Nutmeg - A pinch of ground nutmeg would add a nutty taste to this awesome chicken recipe.
Instant Pot Apricot Chicken Thighs
This recipe for Apricot Chicken Thighs can be made in an Instant Pot as well. Here is how you can make this recipe in your Instant Pot.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Put your Instant Pot on Sauté mode and heat some olive oil.
- Add chicken thighs skin side down in your Instant Pot.
- Sear both sides until browned.
- Add apricot preserve, dijon mustard, Soy sauce, red pepper flakes, ginger, and coconut cream. Toss well to combine.
- Pour enough water for the chicken to cook.
- Close the lid. Set the valve to sealing position. Cook for 4-5 minutes on Manual/Pressure. Allow pressure to release naturally for 5-minutes then do a quick pressure release.
- Open the lid, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve right away.
Baked Apricot Chicken Thighs
You can also make Apricot Chicken Thighs in your oven. Here is how you can do that.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brush both sides with olive oil.
- Place them in a lined rimmed baking dish keep a few inches of gap between each chicken thigh.
- Mix the ingredients for sauce in a bowl. Divide it into two parts.
- Brush half of the sauce over chicken thighs and save the rest for later.
- Bake chicken thighs in a preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the thickest part of chicken registers 175 degrees F.
- Pour the sauce on chicken and serve right away with some greens.
What to Serve with Apricot Chicken?
But, if you think rice would make it heavy, then serve this along with a cool side salad such as Healthy Black Bean and Corn Salad or Creamy Cucumber Red Onion Salad or Low Carb Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas
Can I Store Apricot Chicken
You can store Apricot Chicken thighs in the refrigerator for up to 3-4days and in the freezer for up to a month.
To refrigerate, allow this to cool down completely. Transfer it to an air-tight container. Refrigerate for 3-4 days or freeze for a month.
To reheat, place it in an oven-proof dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and heat it until warmed through. If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the reheating instructions.
- Make sure you cook chicken until it reaches an Internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- While Searing chicken make sure you place skin side down.
- Make sure you sear onions (if adding) before adding it into the slow cooker.
- To get that traditional French onion soup taste along with Apricot chicken, you can sauté chopped onions in a skillet until browned and then dump it in your slow cooker. See this recipe for French Onion Stuffed Chicken Casserole (so cheesy!) and you'll learn more.
More Crockpot Recipes
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Apricot Chicken Thighs in Crockpot
- 6 large bone-in skin-on chicken thighs you can also boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season chicken (as per taste)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil you can also use butter
- 1 cup apricot preserves or Apricot Jam
- 2-3 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 inch ginger freshly grated or use ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup coconut cream or Heavy Cream
- fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- Heat the skillet with 2 tablespoon olive oil or butter. Add chicken (skin-side-down) into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Crank up the heat to medium-high and sear both sides until browned. Once, done, get them out of the skillet and keep them aside. Don't discard the remaining brown bits and oil.
- Get your slow cooker pot and add Apricot Preserves, Dijon Mustard, Soy sauce, grated ginger, red pepper flakes, and coconut cream. Stir well to combine. Place pan-seared chicken thighs in the slow cooker pot. Pour the remaining oil with browned bits that you had saved in step 1 into the crockpot.Cover slow cooker with a glass lid. Slow cook on High for 3-4 hours and on low for 6-8 hours
- Open the lid and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Serve right away.
- You can find the instructions for Apricot Chicken in Instant Pot and Baked Apricot chicken in the blog post above.
- If you want you can sauté onions and add them to your slow cooker.