Spicy Orange Chicken with Apricot Orange Dipping Sauce

spicy orange chicken with apricot orange dipping sauce on rice

There are 2 things that a recipe title that long can tell you – 1) The “I can’t think of a good name for this so I’m going to just tell you everything that is in it” syndrome or 2) It’s an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. Not that I can blame them. I also find it a little hard to be creative with my recipe names and often end up in the first camp šŸ™‚

I’ve talked before about how much I enjoy the cookbook The Best Light Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. At this point, I am not sure how many times I’ve checked it out from our library, saving a few more recipes each time. In reality, I am not sure I ever would have made this recipe save for the jar of apricot preserves my husband randomly brought home from the store. It actually wasn’t bad on toast alone, but peanut butter and apricot preserve sandwiches just didn’t work quite as well.
Needless to say, I was looking to use up the rest of the jar.

spicy orange chicken with apricot orange dipping sauce

We enjoyed these chicken skewers with the dipping sauce over rice for our meal, but I am confident that they’d work equally as well on an appetizer tray for New Year’s Eve or any remaining holiday parties. In fact, the recipe is actually in the “appetizer” section of the cookbook. The book indicates that the recipe (as an appetizer) will serve 10. As written, we ate it for a main dish with a couple meals as leftovers. The sauce here is a little sweet but just in the right way and really compliments the chicken. In the past, I’ve been a little wary of the fruit and meat combination, but after these fajitas and this skewer recipe, I’ve found I really should keep an open mind. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Spicy Orange Chicken with Apricot Orange Dipping Sauce
From The Best Light Recipe

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup apricot preserves
nonstick cooking spray

Apricot Orange Dipping Sauce:
1 cup apricot preserves
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Slice the chicken across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick strips (about 30 strips). In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the parsley, salt, orange zest, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Add the apricot preserves and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (can be left for up to 24 hours).

For the dipping sauce, puree the apricot preserves and vinegar together in a blender or food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Stir in the parsley, orange zest, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. The dipping sauce can be made up to 48 hours before and stored in the refrigerator.

Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. If desired, the chicken can be cooked on an outdoor grill over medium heat until cooked through, flipping skewers partway through the cooking process. Alternatively, adjust an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil and top with a slotted broiler pan top; spray the broiler pan top with nonstick spray. Lay the skewers on the broiler pan and cover the skewer ends with foil. Do not cover the chicken. Broil until the meat is lightly browned and cooked through, 5-8 minutes, flipping skewers over halfway through. Repeat the process if necessary to cook all the meat. Serve with the prepared apricot dipping sauce.

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