Perfectly grilled moist chicken is one of my favorite things ever. Especially when basted with a sweet and tangy sauce. There is something about classic smoky flavor and caramelized sauce that hits all of the food high notes for me. This Grilled Apricot Chicken is no exception. Thick apricot preserves and dried apricots are the sweet base of our tasty sauce. To get the wow factor, we added some spicy and savory flavors. What did we add? Lemon zest, a little bit of soy sauce, and a few other surprises. Be sure to see how fast we turned our left over basting glaze into a yummy serving sauce.
Grilled Apricot Chicken is sweet and tangy...so Yum.
I was craving grilled chicken in a bad way. And not just regular BBQ chicken. I was in the mood for something just a little different.
"Something different" gives me another reason to experiment in the kitchen.
After browsing through the fridge and pantry, two things jumped out at me. I had a partial jar of apricot preserves in the fridge. Great start. And on that same page, some dried apricots in the pantry.
From Asian-inspired to traditional American BBQ , sweet and thick sauces ring my bell. So this recipe was a natural for me to make. Just keep experimenting until you get the flavors you like.
To get the most out of the sweet ingredients you need balance. (If you don't, your chicken will taste like chicken with jelly on it...so...let's not do that. Chicken & Waffles = Win. Chicken & Jelly = Loss.)
So to our sweet start we added citrus, savory, and spicy.
Our key sauce ad-ins for this apricot chicken sauce? Spicy brown mustard, soy sauce, lemon zest and chicken broth.
(And a few basic spices.)
Look at this thickness! Use it as is or thin it out a little more with additional broth. Remember, you want this apricot sauce to stick to your grilled chicken. In my opinion, thicker is better.
If you aren't a fan of the large pieces of apricot, dice them finer or run the sauce through your food processor. (I love the apricot pieces. They made our sauce for the Grilled Apricot Chicken so amazing.)
My husband cooks grilled chicken perfectly! We decided on chicken breasts, but this recipe for apricot chicken would be great on legs, thighs, too. Look at those grill marks. Pro.
Sure, we could write a whole blog post on How to Get Perfect Grill Marks, but let's start with this illustration.
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If you love to grill, check out our Hawaiian Marinated Pork Kabobs, our Smoked Baked Beans, or one of our top-viewed posts of all time...BBQ Catfish.
Based on the thickness of your chicken and heat of your grill, the cooking time for Grilled Apricot Chicken will vary. We always recommend using a digital food thermometer to ensure your chicken is cooked properly.
Click here for the USDA's guidelines to cooking meat.
Simmer the leftover apricot sauce with the remaining chicken broth until thick and heated through. This will make the perfect serving sauce for your Grilled Apricot Chicken. Every bite is tender and moist, sweet and tangy. Yum!
Grilled Apricot Chicken
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ¾ cup apricot preserves
- ½ cup dried apricots chopped
- ⅔ cup plus 4 TB chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally to create two thinner pieces out of each. Cover and refrigerate until time to cook.
- In a medium bowl, combine the apricot preserves, chopped apricots, 4 tablespoons of the chicken broth. Stir in the mustard, soy sauce, lemon zest, pepper flakes, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Let this rest at room temperature while the grill is heating.
- Heat grill to a medium high heat, around 375 degrees. To get nice grill marks place chicken on the grill diagonally at a 45 degree angle. Let it cook for about 5 minutes. Rotate 90 degrees and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Flip the chicken and repeat the process on this side.
- Toward the end of cooking the second side, baste the chicken generously with the prepared apricot sauce. Flip, baste the other side and cook for a minute or two. Repeat as needed until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- (Do not over cook or the chicken will be dry.)
- Remove chicken from the grill and cover with foil. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
- In a small sauce pan, heat the remaining apricot sauce with ⅔ cup of chicken broth. Stir and simmer until thickened. Serve over the grilled chicken.
- **Due to variances in chicken breast thickness and grill temperatures, we highly recommend using a food thermometer to ensure your chicken is properly cooked.