Heartbeet Kitchen
Sticky Apricot Basil Chicken Thighs
May 31, 2015 in Dairy-Free · Gluten-Free · Main Dish · Nut-Free · Paleo · 37 Comments

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Apricot Basil Glaze {gluten-free} Have you hopped on the chicken thigh bandwagon yet? If not, I think this easy recipe might be your one way ticket, no looking back. Like many, I grew up a child of the late 80’s, where fat was considered the devil and Jane Fonda was every woman’s 6:00 am pal. A typical “healthy” dinner consisted of baked chicken breasts with steamed vegetables and a sprinkle of reduced-calorie cheese, a glass of raspberry Crystal Light to wash it down. Oof.

Thank goodness we’ve taken back the roots of cooking and embraced both techniques and ingredients that let real food shine. These Sticky Apricot Basil Chicken Thighs are a testament to both.

Sticky Apricot Basil Chicken Thighs (via heartbeet kitchen blog)I’ll be honest, chicken thighs seemed a little intimidating before I made them the first time. With skin-on and bone-in, how exactly do I do this? With help from Bon Appetit and my cast iron skillet, juicy chicken with salty, crispy skin was just 20 minutes away. The most important piece is starting with a smoking hot pan and searing them skin side down to render out the fat, and give the thighs something to “fry” in. Think about it – this is why you love bacon.

And don’t forget to let those babies rest, just like you would with steak. This holds in all the flavor and lets the salt permeate into the meat.

How to Make the Crispiest Chicken ThighsI could have served the finger lickin’ good thighs just like that, but another little trick is making a quick sauce from whatever jam or preserves you have. I’ve learned that fruit brightens and balances meat really well, working harmoniously together. Ever notice why good restaurant meals are never heavy in one taste and lacking in another?

Crispy Chicken Thighs Apricot Glaze 5With little effort thanks to apricot preserves from Cascadian Farm Organic, this basil infused glaze brought this meal from really good to “kick the table” delicious. A quick simmer with minced shallots, white wine vinegar and a little dijon mustard is all it takes. And if apricot isn’t your favorite, this would work well with any 1/2 empty jars of jam you have sitting in your refrigerator too.

Apricot Basil Glaze ~ delicious on chicken or porkSmothered on the crispy chicken after it comes off the pan, a sticky texture with a sweet & savory twist emerges.

Sticky Apricot Basil Chicken via heartbeet kitchen blogHope you join me on the chicken thigh bandwagon, and if you make these in your kitchen, tag me on instagram, @amanda_paa so I can see your creations!

Many thanks to Cascadian Farm for sponsoring this post, a company I regularly use in my kitchen. I’m so grateful they provide all of us with accessible, organic fruits and vegetables. And thank you for understanding that I carefully choose the brands I work with that help make this site possible. All opinions are 100% my own.

Sticky Apricot Basil Chicken Thighs

serves 2
I served the chicken with roasted purple cabbage wedges, which I’ve been loving, and I think they almost need their post. But for a quick method, just cut the core out of the cabbage, slice 1/2 inch thick slices, then coat both sides with olive oil and salt. Roast at 375 degrees for 25 minutes and this heavenly side dish is ready.

Sticky Apricot Basil Glazed Chicken Thighs (gluten-free)

1 1/4 pounds, or about 3 bone-in & skin-on chicken thighs (pasture-raised)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt

Apricot Basil Glaze
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup Cascadian Farm Organic apricot preserves
2 tablespoons minced basil

Rub chicken thighs with 1 tablespoons olive oil and salt, then let sit while you prepare the sauce so that they come close to room temperature.

For sauce, heat olive oil to medium high heat in a small saucepan. Add shallot and salt, cooking for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Stir in mustard, vinegar and preserves. Lightly simmer for 5-6 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in basil and turn off heat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium high heat in a 12 inch cast-iron skillet. Wait until very hot, then add chicken thighs skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn heat down to medium and continue to cook for 8 more minutes so that it can “fry” in it’s own fat, until skin is golden brown. Flip and cook for 10 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and cook for 8-10 minutes longer, until meat is cooked through and juices run clear. Transfer to a plate, smother with glaze, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Sticky Apricot Basil Chicken Thighs (gluten-free)

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37 thoughts on “Sticky Apricot Basil Chicken Thighs

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Yes for another person on the chicken thigh side of things! You can’t beat all their flavor and how they retain their juices. Hope you’re having a great weekend, xo.

      Reply
  1. Kara

    Yum Amanda! I love chicken thighs. SO much tastier than chicken breast. I’m all over this one! Thanks for sharing love!

    Reply
  2. Jolaine

    Looks and sounds delicious. I think I’d prefer a sauce that doesn’t have the sugar content of jam though.

    Reply
  3. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    It’s all chicken thighs in our house! These apricot basil ones sound out of this world, Amanda. And these photos are so ridiculously beautiful! Seriously – so perfect with the sheen of the glaze!

    Reply
  4. Emily

    I’m all about the chicken thighs but I need to buy bone-in, skin-on next time. Yours look cooked to perfection! Love the sauce idea, what an upgrade to dinner!

    Reply
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  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    Amanda, your apricot-basil glaze looks simply mouth-watering (I’ve tasted it several times over the last couple days :D ). As for the chicken thighs, my husband and I lived off them through law school — they are very economical relative to other cuts (great for students) and so, so juicy! There are still some recipes I prefer to use chicken breast but often we will opt for thighs. I must try this delightful recipe, it looks too good to resist!

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      I agree – thighs are so economical! And juicy. The flavor just flows through them. And I do like to use breasts for things like kabobs, and if I am going to be making some sort of chicken salad where I know it will be mixed with several other things. Hope you enjoy the apricot basil combination!

      Reply
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  8. Nancy

    I’ve never pan fried and then baked chicken thighs before. I’ll have to give it a try. And the apricot preserves…..yum!

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      It definitely makes for the crispiest skin! Give it a try, just make sure the pan is very hot before you put them in it. The searing helps keep the juices in the meat.

      Reply
  9. Smith. A

    Chicken thigh is my favorite dish. Thanks a lot that you made my favorite dish more delicious with this recipe. I have cook it. When I serve it to my family they can’t believe that how my chicken thigh get more tasty. They all are wounder. Again thanks Amanda.

    Reply
  10. Nikki

    So delicious. I made it twice in less than a week but with Pineapple Preserve instead of Apricot. Quick question though, in the recipe you have white wine vinegar listed twice. I am guessing that is a typo, correct?

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      You are correct, I had repeated myself :). I updated the ingredient list, and am so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe. I will take your tip and make it with pineapple preserves next time!

      Reply
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  12. Emm

    What would you recommend in place of the shallots? I don’t have any and need to cook something only with what I have on-hand.

    Reply
  13. Sue

    Chincken thighs are my favorite. They seem to be more flavorful when cooked with skin on. However i do not Eat the skin due to heart problems so when done cooking i peeled it off, add some glaze and stuck under broiler for just a few mintues. Wonderful recipe

    Reply
  14. Kaela

    THESE WERE SO GOOD. I made this tonight with chicken drumsticks (I was craving this but didn’t have time to go buy thighs!) and it was still a hit!!

    Reply

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