Healthy Apricot Chicken

healthy apricot chicken

What is apricot chicken?

Embark on a captivating journey through the rich tapestry of Healthy Apricot Chicken, a culinary masterpiece that gracefully transcends continents and centuries. Rooted in the Middle East, this exquisite dish beautifully marries succulent chicken with the sweet tang of apricots, creating a gastronomic legacy that unfolds across diverse cultures and culinary landscapes. In the 1970s, a pivotal era marked by the infusion of knowledge about foreign cuisines into the UK, recipes like this garnered widespread acclaim, marking the advent of a delightful fusion of flavours. Fast forward to today, and our contemporary twist, spotlighting homemade sugar-free apricot jam, introduces a touch of modernity to this timeless classic. Beyond its historical roots, this dish stands as a nutritional gem, presenting a flawless harmony of taste and health—a truly delightful low-calorie dinner idea for those seeking a culinary experience that resonates with both the past and the present.

Is apricot chicken healthy?

This recipe not only excels in flavor but also packs a nutritional punch for your well-being. The lean chicken breast isn’t just delicious; it’s a protein powerhouse, providing approximately 30 grams of protein per 100 grams, supporting muscle health and metabolism. Meanwhile, the broccoli and red pepper contribute more than just color—they bring a wealth of essential vitamins and antioxidants to the table. Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, K, and folate, while red peppers boast high levels of vitamin A and C, along with antioxidants like beta-carotene. Our homemade sugar-free apricot jam not only enhances the taste but also ensures guilt-free sweetness, making it an ideal choice for a low-calorie dinner that aligns perfectly with your weight loss goals. So, with each bite, you’re not just enjoying a flavourful meal; you’re nourishing your body with the protein and nutrients it craves.

Do you have a diet restriction?

This healthy apricot chicken recipe is:

  • Low Fat
  • Nut Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Low FODMAP
  • Ultra Processed Food Free

Ultra processed food free recipes are recipes that use ingredients where no additives have been used. This will include ingredients that can be made at home to be UPF free such as stock cubes, sauces and seasonings.

Step 1: Apricot Jam

If you haven’t made the sugar-free apricot jam yet, start by peeling and pitting 6 apricots (blanching will make this a lot easier). Stew them until soft, then blend or mash until semi smooth. This homemade jam serves as the heart of our dish, providing natural sweetness without added sugars and additives. You can find the full recipe for this jam below. If you’d rather use store bought apricot jam you may need to use less to avoid it being overly sweet.

Sugar Free Apricot Jam
Whip up a delightful Sugar-Free Apricot Jam with just 12 apricots! Simple blanching, stewing, and mashing for a healthy burst of fruity goodness. Great on toast or salads and a key component of my healthy apricot chicken recipe.
Check out this recipe
sugar free apricot jam

Step 2: Prepare the apricot chicken ingredients

Dice the red pepper and cut the broccoli into small, bite-sized florets. These colourful veggies not only add vibrancy to your dish but also bring an array of essential vitamins and antioxidants to the table. If your chicken breast is not already pre-diced you can do that now too.

In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup of flour with 1 tbsp of Chinese 5 spice. Coat the diced chicken breast thoroughly in this mixture. This step not only adds a delightful layer of flavour but also helps create a crispy texture when cooked. This step of the recipe, although recommended is optional, if you would like to make this healthy apricot chicken even healthier then you can totally leave out the flour, just add the 5 spice to the apricot jam. Leaving the flour out can also make this recipe easier to cook if you don’t include oil in your diet as it wont go brown and crispy without a splash of oil when cooking.

healthy apricot chicken

Step 3: Pan fry the chicken

Heat a large frying pan or wok with a decent splash of oil. As I’ve played around with this healthy apricot chicken recipe i’ve found that if you use a lot of oil you get a beautifully crispy, puffy batter on the chicken but the less you use, the more the flour sticks to the pan instead of the chicken, If you’re avoiding oil completely for whatever reason, consider omitting the flour to prevent sticking, if not, move it as little as possible whilst cooking. Place the floured chicken in the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, turning regularly. The goal is a golden colour, ensuring a flavourful and appealing presentation.

healthy apricot chicken

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Step 4: Add broccoli and pepper

Once the chicken achieves its golden perfection, add the diced red pepper and broccoli florets to the pan. This not only introduces a vibrant mix of colours but also incorporates additional nutrients into the dish. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp. If you would rather use frozen veggies for convenience then add these at the same time as the sauce as they will already be quite soft from the freezing process and you don’t want them to disintegrate into your healthy apricot chicken sauce

healthy apricot chicken

Step 5: Apricot sauce

While the veggies are cooking, mix 2/3 cup of your homemade sugar-free apricot jam with 2 tbsp of soy sauce. This blend adds a sweet and savory kick to the dish, enhancing both flavor and aroma.

As the vegetables reach the desired tenderness, pour the apricot and soy sauce blend into the pan. Stir well to ensure every piece is coated. Allow it to simmer for an additional 2 minutes, ensuring all components are heated through. This final step brings all the flavours together for a harmonious culinary experience.

healthy apricot chicken

Dish out your Healthy Apricot Chicken over a bed of rice or a side salad. The combination of tender chicken, crisp vegetables, and the delightful apricot-infused sauce creates a wholesome, satisfying meal that caters to your taste buds and your health goals.

Healthy Apricot Chicken Variations:

  1. Enhance the texture with a handful of cashews for a delightful crunch.
  2. Explore different vegetables like snap peas or baby corn for added variety.
  3. For those who crave heat, sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes during cooking.
  4. Embrace a vegetarian twist by swapping chicken for tofu.
  5. Elevate the dish with garnishes like cilantro or sesame seeds for an extra burst of flavor.
Can I freeze apricot chicken?

Absolutely! Store it in an airtight container for up to three months.

How do I reheat leftovers?

Reheat in a pan or microwave, adding a splash of water to maintain moisture.

Can I use store bought apricot jam?

It’s recommended to stick to the homemade sugar-free version for a healthier option but you can try it.

Is this recipe suitable for oil free diets?

Yes, you may want to omit the flour if avoiding oil, but monitor for potential sticking.

What’s the quickest way to make sugar free apricot jam?

Refer to my previous recipe for a quick and easy jam preparation.

Can I substitute chicken for another protein?

Certainly! Tofu or your favourite plant-based alternative works well.

Is this dish kid-friendly?

Absolutely! The sweet and savoury combination is sure to be a hit.

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healthy apricot chicken

Healthy Apricot Chicken

HealthyHeartyWholesome
Explore the delightful fusion of flavours in our Healthy Apricot Chicken, marrying Middle Eastern influences with 1970s UK fusion trends. This recipe features succulent diced chicken coated in a mix of flour and Chinese 5 spice, achieving a golden, crispy texture. The homemade sugar-free apricot jam adds guilt-free sweetness, while red pepper and broccoli contribute essential nutrients. With a perfect balance of sweet and savoury notes from the apricot jam and soy sauce blend, this low-calorie dinner idea is a celebration of taste and health, echoing cultural connections in every bite.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine British, Middle Eastern
Servings 4
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 600 g chicken breast diced
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 2/3 cup sugar-free apricot jam homemade
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Spring onions for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Make homemade sugar-free apricot jam by stewing and blending 6 apricots.
  • Dice the red pepper and cut broccoli into small florets.
  • Mix 1/2 cup flour with 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice.
  • Coat diced chicken in the flour and spice mixture.
  • Heat a pan with a splash of oil; cook the floured chicken until golden. 5-7 minutes
  • Add diced red pepper and broccoli to the pan; cook until vegetables are tender-crisp. 5 minutes
  • Mix 2/3 cup sugar-free apricot jam with 2 tbsp soy sauce for the sauce.
  • Pour the apricot and soy sauce blend into the pan; stir well and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Serve over rice or salad, garnished with spring onions.

Notes

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