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Quick & Easy Apricot Chicken Skewers
These Apricot Chicken Skewers are perfect for quick-and-easy dinners or as a delicious appetizer for your next gathering. They come together in under an hour and are irresistibly delicious with a sweet-and-sour apricot sauce. The sauce is made with dried apricots, maple syrup, NAKANO® Natural Rice Vinegar, tamari, hot sauce, garlic and ginger.
Mild and mellow NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar brings out the sweet-and-sour flavors of this apricot sauce perfectly.
NAKANO Rice Vinegars add a deliciously mild and sweet flavor to all types of dishes, from simple marinades to gourmet fare, making it the perfect, versatile flavor partner in the kitchen. Each of their seven flavors of rice vinegar are brewed according to traditional practices, refined over two centuries, creating a crisp flavor that is mild and mellow. Look for NAKANO Rice Vinegar in the Vinegar aisle at your local grocery store, available nationwide at Walmart, Albertsons Safeway, Shop Rite, Hy-Vee, Food Lion and Hannaford.
How to Make Apricot Chicken Skewers
Step 1: Prep the chicken:
Start by patting the chicken thighs dry and cutting them into long strips about 1 1/2 – 2 inches wide. Place them into a shallow dish or a bag while you prepare the marinade/sauce.
Step 2: Make the Sauce:
Add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If the sauce is very thick add a bit of water to loosen it.
Step 3: Marinate the chicken:
Add half of the sauce to the chicken skewers and rub it into the chicken. Cover and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator while the oven /grill preheats.
Step 4: Skewer and cook the chicken:
Skewer the chicken strips then bake or grill them, turning halfway through, until they are cooked through or reach an internal temperature of 165˚F/74˚C.
Step 5: Serve:
Serve the apricot chicken skewers with sticky rice and vegetables for a complete dinner. Or serve them alone as appetizers.
Apricot Chicken Skewers Questions:
Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?
Yes, just remember that chicken breast cooks faster and will dry out quickly if it is overcooked. If you opt for chicken breast or chicken tenders reduce the cooking time and check them at 10 minutes if baking them.
Can I skip the skewering?
Yes, if serving these as a dinner main then you can skip the skewering. Just bake or grill them and serve them as is. The skewers are nice when serving them as appetizers or passed hors d’oeuvres
Can I substitute apricots?
Yes, you can use apricot jam in place of dried apricots and maple syrup. Feel free to try other fruit. Plums or pears would both be yummy options. You can use fresh fruit and may not need to add water. If you opt for using a jam instead of fruit/maple syrup, orange marmalade, peach jam, or fig jam would all be great options.
For more easy dinner ideas check out these recipes:
- Skillet Miso Eggplant
- Vegan Thai Noodle Bowls
- Baked Sichuan Chicken and Brussels Sprouts
- Plant-based Spicy Korean Meatball Noodles
- Slow Roasted Teriyaki Ginger Miso Salmon
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- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 100 g dried apricots 1/2 cup packed
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1-2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root 1" piece, sliced
- 3 scallions white ends separated from green tops
- Preheat oven or grill to 425˚F/220˚C. Soak wood/bamboo skewers in water or use metal ones.
- Pat chicken thighs dry and slice into long strips about 1 1/2 - 2 inches wide. Place them into a shallow dish or bag and season them with kosher salt.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for the green tops of scallions, to a blender and blend into a smooth sauce. If the sauce is too thick add a little more water to thin it out.
- Pour half of the sauce over the chicken and rub it into the chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge for up to 30 minutes or until the oven/grill is preheated.
- Skewer the chicken strips and, if baking them, place them on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan or baking dish. If grilling them place them directly on the grill.
- Bake or grill them until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F/74˚C, about 15 minutes, turning them halfway through. They may cook faster on the grill depending on the temperature.
- Meanwhile, cook the rest of the sauce in a small pan over med-low heat at a simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
- Spoon the sauce over the cooked skewers and garnish with sliced green tops of the scallions. Serve with sticky rice and vegetables for a complete meal.
Look for all seven flavors of NAKANO Rice Vinegar nationwide at Walmart, Albertsons Safeway, Shop Rite, Hy-Vee, Food Lion and Hannaford and add a flavor boost to your favorite dishes. You can also follow NAKANO on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
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