Grilled Chicken With Spicy Apricot Sauce

Sweet and Spicy Apricot Chicken(Photo: Susan Selasky/Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo


One popular dish that made its way to our table when I was growing up was chicken baked in a sauce featuring a jar of apricot preserves, a bottle of French-style dressing and a packet of dry onion soup mix. While I don’t know the source of the recipe, we affectionately referred to this dish as Kathy’s Chicken, because it was from our cousin Kathy.

While I loved the taste and simplicity of this recipe, from a sodium perspective, I knew I had to make some adjustments. The bottle of French-style dressing provided 5,600 milligrams of sodium and the soup mix packet added another 2,440 milligrams.

For today’s recipe, the apricot preserves and brown sugar provide the sweetness and the vinegar and sriracha deliver a spicy tang.


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Sometimes referred to as rooster sauce, sriracha (pronounced SIR-rotch-ah) sauce is a bright red, hot sauce made from red chili peppers, sugar, salt, garlic and vinegar.

Sriracha is thicker than traditional Louisiana-style hot sauces like Tabasco and Frank’s RedHot, and not as hot.

Although it’s been available in the U.S. only since the 1980s, sriracha’s popularity has soared. It can be found in most major grocery stores in the international food aisle, as well as in Asian markets. Store unopened sriracha in your pantry. Once opened, keep it in the refrigerator for up to a year.

Like most hot sauces, sriracha is extremely versatile. One note of caution; it has 100 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon. Good thing a little goes along way with this fiery sauce:

■ Whisk it into a vinaigrette for a tangy salad dressing.

■ Toss it with roasted, steamed or grilled vegetables.

■ Swirl it into hummus or dipping sauces.

■ Mix it with honey to create a sweet and spicy glaze for seafood, chicken or pork.

■ Squirt it into pasta sauces, soups, stews, chili and stir-fried dishes for a little zing.

Darlene Zimmerman is a registered dietitian in Henry Ford Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute. For questions about today’s recipe, call 313-972-1920.

Sweet and Spicy Apricot Chicken

Serves: 5 /

Preparation time: 15 minutes (plus marinating time) /

Total time: 30 minutes

4 boneless, about 5 ounces each, skinless chicken breasts

3/4 cup apricot preserves

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

21/2 tablespoons sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag.

In a small bowl, whisk together preserves, brown sugar, vinegar, sriracha sauce and 1 tablespoon oil. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade for basting chicken while cooking. Pour remaining marinade over chicken, turning to coat. Refrigerate 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Prepare an outdoor grill and brush grill grate with remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to prevent sticking. Place chicken on the grill and discard marinade. Use reserved marinade to baste chicken while grilling. Grill for approximately 5 to 8 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Created by Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD, and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.


calories (20% from

fat), 5 grams

fat (1 gram

sat. fat, 0 grams

trans fat), 10 grams

carbohydrates, 33 grams

protein, 213 mg

sodium, 90 mg

cholesterol, 18 mg

calcium, 0 grams

fiber. Food exchanges: 1/2 starch, 4 lean meats.

Source :

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