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  • Writer's pictureLarissa Olczak

Apricot Skillet Chicken

This is such an easy meal to make. It takes one pot so minimal mess, and the flavors are amazing. If you like a sweet sour flavor, along with chicken thighs, this is the meal for you.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Makes 4 servings 


  • 2 pounds (900 g or about 6 to 8) chicken drumsticks

  • skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs will also work

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

  • 3 small shallots, halved, thinly sliced

  • 10 ounces (300 g or 1 ½ cups) dried apricots — keep half of them whole and half of them roughly chopped

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly crushed

  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly crushed

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 small cinnamon stick

  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/3 cup (about 2 dollops) apricot preserves or jam

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1 1/3 cup (300 g) white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

  • can be substituted with water, chicken stock or pale ale

  • ½ cup (113 g) water


  1. Cook the chicken: Pat dry the chicken using paper towels. Season with kosher salt on all sides and set aside.

*You can do this a day ahead, for better flavor: place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and evenly arrange the salted chicken on the rack. Store in the fridge, uncovered, overnight.

2. In a large (12-inch) well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat for a few minutes, then evenly arrange the chicken in the pan. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side, flipping the chicken using a pair of tongs. Cook until the skin develops a golden brown color and a crusty exterior all around. Place the cooked chicken on a plate or quarter baking sheet and set aside.

3. Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

4. Make the apricot sauce: In the same skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots, season with salt and cook for 3 minutes, or until the shallots are lighter in color and slightly softened. Add the whole and chopped apricots and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat as needed.

5. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon (ground or stick), black pepper, cayenne, more oil (if needed) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Keep an eye on the skillet, the spices can burn in a matter of seconds.

6. Add the jam and stir to coat the shallots and apricots. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly thickened.

7. Carefully add the vinegar, wine (or wine substitute) and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes, until you’re left with a watery, saucy mixture in the pan. Add the water and continue simmering for 3 to 4 minutes.

Place the seared chicken in the skillet and continue simmering on the stove for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken in the sauce, making sure it’s coated and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce looks thicker, glossy and jammy. Season with flaky salt before serving.


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