Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Custard Cake.
Sheet Pan 30 Minute Sticky Apricot Chicken and asparagus. It’s sweet, spicy, extra sticky, and so easy to make!
Back when my family would travel to Florida for spring break to soak up the sun and visit my grandparents, my Nonnie had a dish she called her “first night chicken”. It was the dinner she’d serve out-of-town guests on the first night they arrived. One, because it was delicious, and two, because it was beyond easy.
The thing about my Nonnie? She was an awesome cook, but her real secret was that she’d never make anything that was complicated or had too many ingredients. She was a woman of simplicity when it came to cooking and baking.
And you know something? It really worked for her. Every single one of her recipes was delicious. And her meatloaf is all my oldest brother, Creighton, ever talks about.
Her recipes were the “retro” kind that probably used far too many store-bought ingredients and one too many bottled and canned goods. But it was her style of cooking and it worked for her. And we loved the dishes she made.
Anyway, she’d serve this “first night chicken” often. It was always a hit every time she served it. Each and every guest they would welcome into their Florida home…which was a lot of guests…loved this dish! As you can imagine a south Florida home becomes very popular in the dead of winter and early spring. Family sure loved to visit them.
Nonnie would serve her roasted chicken with steamed asparagus and rice. I remember the dish being absolutely delicious. Nonnie shared the recipe with me about 5 years ago, and while I’m not revealing her secret just yet (though I will…very, very soon), this recipe today was inspired by hers. Just like my grandma’s chicken, the one I’m sharing today highlights a jar of apricot jam. The flavors in today’s recipe are not the same. But I just had to shout out to my Nonnie for inspiring this insanely easy and delicious sticky chicken.
Makes me miss her even more!
Here are all the details. My Nonnie always used chicken thighs with skin on, which helped her sauce stick. I used boneless skinless breasts. I didn’t want to bread the chicken, but I still wanted the sticky sauce to really stick.
So I toss the chicken with a beaten egg and dredge it through some flour. It’s a very, very light coating, but it’s just enough to help all that sticky sweet sauce actually stick to the chicken. Once you coat the chicken in flour, grease a baking sheet, and arrange the chicken to one side. Then drizzle with olive oil to help the chicken crisp up a bit.
Throw the pan into the oven and let the chicken get nice and crispy.
About halfway through cooking, pull the pan out, flip that chicken and add the asparagus.
First off, you can use broccoli if you hate asparagus, but since I have an abundance of asparagus this week…and since that’s the vegetable my Nonnie also used, that’s what I went for…and we found it delicious.
I kept the asparagus basic, just olive oil, salt, and pepper. But the real secret? Getting them tender and crisp in the oven. Since the chicken cooks at such a high temperature, the asparagus quickly softens, then crisps, and lightly chars. So very delicious. My favorite way to enjoy asparagus!
The truth? The sauce is truly why you should make this recipe. It’s honestly so addicting. Sweet, tangy, a touch spicy and once cooked down, super sticky. The secret ingredient is of course apricot jam. I know it might sound odd, but please, don’t doubt me here. The jam adds sweetness and gives the sauce that sticky texture we love so much. Soy sauce adds a touch of saltiness, and balsamic vinegar gives it a nice tang.
Once the chicken cooks, toss the sauce with the chicken, return to the oven for a few more minutes, and you’re done. I was shocked at how well the timing of everything ended up working out and how quickly this came together.
Nothing fancy here, just simple cooking, but very delicious.
My side dish suggestion…creamy coconut rice made with a pat of butter and lots of fresh basil. Trust me, this is a must, and adds so much to complete the dish. Then top the chicken with toasted sesame seeds and basil. Again, so simple, but really just so good too. It’s that sauce…it’s pretty hard to beat.
If you’re looking for something fresh and healthy…ish for dinner this week, make this sticky chicken!
Looking for other weeknight dinners? Here are a few to try:
Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken
30 Minute Creamy Thai Turmeric Chicken and Noodles
30 Minute Spicy Indian Butter Chicken
Lastly, if you make this Sheet Pan 30 Minute Sticky Apricot Chicken be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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This was just delicious! Can’t beat a sweet and spicy dish, and this was easy to prep and did not take all night to make. Perfect for any day of the week.
Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a try! Have a great weekend! 🏈
Made this for dinner and it was delicious and my family loved it! I had to use orange marmalade as I didn’t have apricot but it still came out great!
Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xT
My baby has an egg allergy but I’m belying pt make this for Hanukkah dinner! Do you think we could just skip it?
Try using buttermilk in place of the egg:) I hope this recipe turns out well for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xx
Delicious. Made coconut rice, but using usual liquid to rice ratios (1:1.5). A little bit more labor intensive than what I was looking for. Definitely needed more flour than recipe outlines, and only used 1lb of chicken. Will make it again.
Happy Friday!! Thanks a ton for making this recipe and sharing your review, I am so glad it was a winner:)
This recipe was very tasty. I served it with broccoli and the suggested coconut rice. Next time I will make plain rice as I found the coconut rice in combination with the sauce was too sweet for my taste. But the recipe is very simple and good.
Happy Monday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks for making it:) xTieghan
This was so good! We only had peach preserves so I used it instead of apricot. Great recipe Tiegen!
Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your review, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have a great weekend:) xx
Can this chicken be frozen after cooking
Sure, I don’t see why not! Please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Friday!! xT
If we are eating gluten free, can we coat the chicken in cornstarch instead? Would this still require an egg wash?
Sure, that would work well for you, you could also use a gluten free flour! You shouldn’t need to use an egg wash:) I hope this dish turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xx
This was delicious. We made it with broccoli and the coconut rice (amazing). My whole family loved it. My picky 5 year old came back for thirds. I am saving this recipe to go in our regular rotation.
Happy Wednesday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for trying it out! xT
I only have apricot fruit spread and not apricot preserves. Are they the same thing?
That will work just fine for you! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx