8.05.2012

Slow Cooker Sweet Apricot Chicken over Orzo

You'd think after a big batch of Fresh Apricot Ice Cream and Apricot Cornmeal Crumb Tarts with Apricot Compote Glaze, we wouldn't have any apricots left over....

Nope!

We still had about 10-12 left, and I wasn't going to let them go to waste. I figured I already used the apricots in two dessert recipes, so I needed to widen my experience into cooking/serving them in more of a savory way - with some meat. I searched high and low, and with our limited ingredients, I found the perfect recipe.

I was highly skeptical... and a little afraid of what I had just thrown into my crock pot. But I trusted the recipe, and let it simmer away the afternoon. Thankfully, my skepticism turned to anticipation as the sweet and tangy smell of apricots coupled with the warm juicy appeal of slow-cooked chicken filled my home. I couldn't wait to try it! I prepped my plate with orzo (we were out of rice, and I still had dry orzo pasta left over from my Chicken and Orzo Soup with Kale).

This meal was a little heavier than I anticipated, but very delicious. If you're not a fan of a little sweet in your meat, this recipe is probably not your cup-of-tea. It was very sweet, but delightfully so. I mostly ate the chicken and orzo (maybe because I might have been a little sick of eating apricots that week). My favorite part of this was (of course) the chicken falling apart out of the crock pot.

And thus ends my little apricot spree in the kitchen last week. I seriously felt like I was on Chopped with what food we had left in our cupboards - plus using apricots in a meal versus a dessert was a big of a challenge for me. But I tried it out, and I'm glad we all pleasantly survived.

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Slow Cooker Sweet Apricot Chicken over Orzo 

12 dried apricots (I used fresh apricots)
2 chicken breasts, trimmed, sliced in three chunks
2 T butter
2 T vegetable oil
1 onions, sliced
1 C chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked orzo pasta or white/brown rice

Wash apricots, remove pits (if using fresh), and slice in half. Scatter in slow cooker. In a large skillet, heat butter and oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place in skillet with melted ingredients. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Arrange over apricots.

Drain skillet, but reserve about 1 tablespoon drippings. Add onion and cook until just soft (in drippings in skillet), about 2 minutes. Add broth and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of skillet.

Pour contents of skillet over apricots and chicken. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours on low. Carefully transfer chicken to a serving dish over cooked orzo pasta/cooked rice. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Pour remaining contents of slow cooker into a saucepan. Boil, stirring often, until reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour over chicken.

Recipe Source: MyRecipes.com

linking up here.

5 comments:

  1. I pinned this for later........looks yummy : )

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  2. This sounds wonderful! I love that it's a slow cooker recipe, I've been looking for more of those!

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  3. with school fast approaching I need all the slow cooker meals I can get, and this looks delicious

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  4. This sound so good, I love apricot and have not used them a chicken recipe yet. I love slow cooker recipes also, especially with all this heat going on! I wonder is one could use apricot preserves since I always have this on hand! I want to say congrats on all your features I see you all across blogland! So glad you shared your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – your creativity helped make the party a success!

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  5. I love that most items can be thrown into a slow cooker and it works!!! I can imagine how good and sweet the chicken would be cooked all day in apricots!! Bravo for your chopped week using the fruit!!!

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