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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

Friday Night Apricot Chicken


Friday Night Apricot Chicken

Lynley Jones

Easy baked chicken with the sweet tang of apricot juice and Worcestershire umami. Super simple prep, then nearly all the cooking time is hands-off. See Notes for options to simplify it even further.

This recipe originally appeared in Why Did the Chicken Cross the Globe?

Serves 4-6


Friday Night Apricot Chicken (photograph by Deborah Guzman-Meyer)

3 peeled and smashed garlic cloves

1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced

2-3 bay leaves

10-12 peppercorns

6-8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks

1 12-ounce can apricot nectar or puree

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (or half this amount if using table salt)

Ground black pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the oven rack in the middle position. Lay the garlic cloves, onions, bay leaves and peppercorns in the bottom of a large baking dish. Lay the chicken pieces on top, skin side down. Mix the apricot juice and Worcestershire sauce together and pour them over the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with half the salt and pepper to taste.

2. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over, sprinkle with the remaining salt and more pepper to taste and bake for another 15-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and slightly browned, and the sauce is bubbling. Serve with the pan juice.


This is a super-simple and super-yummy chicken recipe that practically makes itself. It almost couldn’t be simpler, and it makes its own sauce while it bakes.

The recipe was originally given to me by a fellow mom at my kids’ elementary school, and I included it in my recipe series Why Did the Chicken Cross the Globe? (where you can read the full origin story). I gussied it up just a tad, but you can make it even simpler by making it the way her mom did, without the garlic, onions, bay leaves and peppercorns in the bottom of the baking dish. Great either way.

Thank you to Rebecca Schneider for the original version of this recipe.

Black Peppercorns

Organic peppercorns imported from Vietnam. 1/2 cup-sized jar.

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