This slow cooker apricot chicken recipe is tender chicken thighs in a delicious sweet and savory sauce made with apricot jam, soy and ginger. A super easy crock pot dinner option!
Apricot chicken is a unique dish that will please both kids and adults alike. Serve your chicken over rice pilaf or mashed potatoes for a complete meal.
This site doesn’t have a lot of slow cooker recipes, mostly because I’m not the biggest slow cooker fan. That being said, this slow cooker apricot chicken is FABULOUS and you’ll love it, even if you’re like me and you don’t use your crockpot that often. The sauce is what makes this dish special, it’s sweet, savory and tangy, all in one. And don’t even get me started on the melt-in-your mouth chicken!
How do you make apricot chicken?
This recipe starts with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, which are seared until golden brown. Onions go into the pan to cook, then place the chicken and onions in your crockpot. Whisk together apricot ham, Dijon mustard, soy sauce and ginger, then pour that mixture over the chicken. Let the chicken simmer in the sauce until tender. Add a sprinkling of parsley, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect chicken
- I use chicken thighs because they have a lot of flavor and are less likely to dry out during the long cooking time. You can also use chicken breasts if you prefer.
- Fresh ginger is best for this dish, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of dried ginger.
- If you’re pressed for time, you can skip browning the chicken and onions. That being said, I feel that this step really adds a lot of flavor, and it’s definitely worth taking the extra few minutes to do it.
- Serve your chicken over rice, mashed potatoes, or couscous with a steamed vegetable on the side.
Apricot Chicken Variations
This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can switch up the ingredients to customize it to your tastes.
- Protein: Try using bone-in pork chops instead of chicken thighs.
- Jam: No apricot jam on hand? This recipe also works great with peach jam. You can also use pineapple jam for a tropical flair.
- Potatoes: You can add potatoes to the crockpot along with the chicken and onions. I recommend using whole baby Yukon gold potatoes.
Can you freeze apricot chicken?
This recipe is a great candidate for the freezer. Simply cool the chicken, then freeze it in a resealable bag or airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw the chicken overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat it on the stove top until warmed through.
This recipe is really is one of the best slow cooker meals I’ve had. The chicken just falls off the bone and that sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Try it tonight and watch the rave reviews pour in!
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Video
Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken
- 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- In a small bowl, whisk together the apricot preserves, soy sauce, dijon mustard and ginger. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken thighs skin side down in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until deep golden brown. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Place the chicken thighs and onions in a slow cooker. Pour the apricot sauce over the chicken and onions.
- Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
is it ok to omit the onion?
That should be fine!
Hi Sara, I’ve talked about this recipe with you before. I think normally I’ve done the low heat for 6 hours and the chicken is brownish/grey and falling apart off the bone. I tried it this time on high for 4 hours and pretty much the same thing happened. I can only think my Crock*Pot brand slow cooker heats incredibly hot-either that or my chickens and weak and ” just can’t handle the heat.” 😉 I may have to try a 3 hour cooking time. Of course that negates the convenience of setting up a slow cooker before work and coming home to a cooked meal.
Is there a way for me to attach a picture and show you what they look like?
You could email me a picture at sara @ dinneratthezoo.com. There are a lot of potential factors. Like you mentioned, the heat of you particular slow cooker. Another major consideration would be the size of your chicken thighs. If the chicken thighs are on the small side that could be an issue as to why they might be cooking faster than the time.
I am without an oven and stove top for a few weeks and was wondering if I don’t do the first step with the chicken will it ruin rhe whole recipe??
It’s fine to skip the browning if you have to!
Hi, could you use apricot halves in juice and substitute the preserve out so there’s actual apricots in it or not?
I haven’t tested it this way so I’m not sure if it would work!
This was so delicious! I served it over couscous. Sharing this recipe with family and friends.
Can I do this with boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders and skip the pan part. I was thinking of just tossing all the ingredients in the crockpot including the onions. Thanks you!
I think it could work fine but I haven’t tested it this way!
I sure hope it does, because that’s what I just did… LOL. I have a broken ankle, so trying to find some shortcuts.
I did 1o drumsticks, added some capsicum and potatos and just bumped up the apricot jam a bit due to extra meat. Was quite nice. Think I’ll add a packet of French onion soup to thicken up the sauce a bit next time.
Just wondering what brand of apricot preserves you used? My 4 year old has diabetes and originally I was going to make this Bc I saw the 2g of carbs listed. However the least amount of carbs I can find is 8/tblsp making each serving at least 28 carbs. Hey I am hoping you have a better option for apricot preserves?
I just recalculated the nutrition info and came up with a higher carb count, so sorry for the error! I’d recommend using sugar free preserves to keep the carbs minimal.
Could I speed this up by putting it in the slow cooker on high and if so for how long?
Yes you can do high heat for half the amount of time!
What would be the cooking time for BONELESS breasts and thighs together. I want to do both as some people do not like thighs. And If I double the meat 6 thighs and 6 breasts, should I double the sauce too?
Yes you would double the sauce and take one hour off the cook time!