Love and Olive Oil

Apricot Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Apricot Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

We’re really trying to think outside of the box (jar?) when it comes to all this jam we have. Because you can only eat so much toast. Our abundant jars of fig and peach and pepper preserves need to be used somehow, and I’ve been looking for creative uses for them.

So far I’ve found the apricot jam to be the most versatile. It’s great on grilled cheese, and as we discovered with this recipe, it makes a fabulous glaze for chicken. But, alas! There is only one jar left. I totally should have made more.

You can really mix it up with the vegetables here – while the original recipe called for acorn squash, fennel, and parsnip, we added in some sweet potato and butternut squash. So long as the vegetables you choose tend to cook at about the same speed, you’re free to add in just about anything.

Now if we could just find an equally creative use for the fig jam, we’d be in business. Any ideas?

Apricot Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Martha Stewart.

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2 small carrots, peeled, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
2 small beets, each cut into 6 wedges
3 small sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
1 medium butternut squash, peeled & seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large fennel bulb, cut into 8 wedges, tops reserved
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup apricot jam, mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, branches reserved for stuffing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 whole chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (2 1/2 pounds total)
1/2 lemon, cut lengthwise into 4 wedges


Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss vegetables with 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons apricot-jam mixture, and thyme leaves; season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking pan; roast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining teaspoon oil over medium-high heat; season chicken, and brown, 4 minutes. Remove from heat; fill cavities between breast halves with lemon, thyme branches, and fennel tops.

Place chicken, skin side up, in a roasting pan, with vegetables around it; roast 15 minutes. Brush chicken with remaining jam; add 6 tablespoons water to pan. Roast until vegetables are tender and chicken is well browned, about 20 minutes. Discard lemon, thyme, and fennel. Bone each breast half with a sharp knife: Cut along breastbone, scraping rib cage with knife; remove meat with your fingers. Arrange meat and vegetables on a serving dish. Pour pan juices over, and serve.

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  1. Fig jam makes a wonderful viniagrette for salad. It’s also good with blue cheese, so a spread for crackers or sliced baguette made with these two ingredients sounds yummy. Or try making some savory mini-tarts as appetizers with a quiche type filling using the blue cheese, then topped with a dollop of your fig jam.

  2. I just had a fantastic panini last night: fig jam, prosciutto crudo, and goat cheese. It’s AMAZING. But if you don’t want to break out the panini press, it also makes a stellar bruschette. Mmm…

  3. Made this tonight – YUM! I cooked the veggies a bit longer than you did, so that my 3 year old would eat them. The chicken was so moist and the meal was loved by all! Would definitely make this again! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Fig jam is amazing on a turkey sandwich or grilled swiss cheese sandwich, add dijon mustard and carmelized onions for extra yum. It is also excellent as a glaze for lamb.

  5. You had me at the picture. Then I read on and I knew!!! Love that you paired root veggies with it. Definitely going to make this one. Thanks!

  6. I think this sounds & looks delicious & really pretty simple. Just as soon as my pots & pans can be found in the miriad of unpacked boxes (just moved) we’re gonna try this! I have the best, absolute best apricot jam & preserves. Happy New Year to you…xx’s

  7. I saw this this morning and thought of you and your jam… (which by the way, I have started making myself, so thanks!) These would be awesome with fig jam.

  8. mmm this looks like a fantastic dinner – I love all the root veggies! So pretty! I have a recipe for fig-glazed burgers with red onion jam in my blog that is fantastic. I also use fig jam to make balsamic-fig salad dressing. Yummmm

  9. Fig jam and blue cheese is a classic. I’d schmear it thickly on toast or in a linzer-esque tart?

  10. Mix about 1 cup apricot jam, 2 tbsp spicy mustard 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp finely chopped garlic, and 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper. Adjust quantities to taste. Spread over meat of your choice and bake until done. Also good with meatballs and rice or couscous. The taste is complex and exotic. Everyone thinks you’ve performed some sort of kitchen magic. Substitute soy sauce and ginger for Worcestershire sauce and garlic for an Asian flair.

  11. What a great recipe. I am looking forward to making this tasty meal.
    :-) Mandy

  12. LOVE the look of this and have a noble jar of apricot preserves in the cupboard that just might do this recipe justice. All that color to brighten up the dregs of winter. Per the figs, I’d do a simple chicken or pork tenderloin roulade. If chicken, pound the breasts out thin and layer fresh goat cheese, your fig preserves and fresh spinach or chard leaves on top and then roll up, secure with a toothpick and bake (be sure to season the chicken). You’d end up with some really nice flavors in every bite.

  13. Mmm this sounds delicious! I have somehow accrued a few jars of apricot jam as well and I love this idea to use it!

    As for the fig jam, I recently made a pizza that was topped with dried figs, ricotta, rosemary, and a maple-balsamic reduction. I bet you could use that jam in something similar!

  14. Sounds so delicious and total comfort meal for me!

  15. This sounds great and for Christmas I was given a few jars of Apricot jam from a neighbor! Perfect!

  16. I’ve had this recipe on my ‘to try’ list for some time but haven’t found the time yet:

    Pretty much making your own fig newtons but without needing to have the existential crisis of if it is wrapped in cookie or cake.

  17. by the way, this apricot chicken looks amazing, i’m putting this one on rotation soon!

  18. fig jam cocktails — melt down jam and add to a french 75 or vodka and soda! i actually made fig vodka – so good. great idea w/fig glaze and bleu cheese…

  19. I know what I’m making for dinner tonight! this looks amazing! I would use your fig jam with venison or lamb or you can glaze a thick cut pork chop with it that you’ve stuffed with a creamy blue cheese and fresh sage (maybe?)
    great post!

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