It’s was a busy weekend, so I’m starting the week by cooking this easy Chicken Thighs with Apricots in my Instant Pot. Like you, I was glued to the news watching the Royal Wedding. Most Filipinos love weddings and are fascinated with British Royalty. Alternately, I did a ton of grocery shopping for my food photos. In between, I realized the abundance of fresh produce, meats and seafoods I purchased were not going to do my family any good if I didn’t cook some of it for our meals. So, I got busy in the kitchen, while watching the royal nuptials on TV.
I am always grateful to culinary friends who gift me with their cookbooks like Kristy Bernardo, creator of The Wicked Noodle food blog and author of Weeknight Cooking with my Instant Pot. Like Kristy mentioned her cookbook is a “game changer”. I keep going back to it for easy recipes with my new kitchen appliance the Instant Pot, a multi pressure cooker that can cook, sauté, steam, bake, boil, stew, make yogurt and cook anything you want in under an hour, most times. I made a quick inventory of what I had in my kitchen. The pack of dried apricots stood out from my counter. I had been trying to decide what to do with them. Kristy’s recipe for Moroccan Chicken Thighs in her cookbook inspired me. There was nothing to it. All I did was a quick browning of the chicken, then I added all the rest of the ingredients and let my Instant Pot do the work for me.
If you don’t own an Instant Pot or any of the current multicookers, do not be discouraged. This easy recipe is versatile. You can also cook this stove-top or bake it and it will come out just as marvelous. The only reason why I cooked this in the Instant Pot was because a) I was running out of time to put dinner on the table and b) I own two Instant Pots (yes, full disclosure) so why not let the kitchen gadget do the cooking for me, I said to myself. The results were magnificent. The chicken thighs were fall-off-the-bone tender, and sweet-savory all at once. The dried apricots rendered a sweet flavor and inviting aroma to the entire dish. I served this with boiled rice, the usual Filipino staple to most our meals. Within minutes, the plates around our table were empty. Which do you think went faster? Cooking this Chicken Thighs with Apricots in the Instant Pot? Or how quickly the entrée was relished with gusto by my family? Have a fun week ahead, folks!
Chicken Thighs with Dried Apricots - Instant Pot
- 1 Instant Pot multicooker - 6 or 8 quarts
- Large Stockpot - for stovetop cooking
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 to 4 pounds chicken thighs bone-in, about 5 to 6 pieces chicken thighs
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 whole white or yellow onion sliced
- 1 knob (1-inch sized) fresh ginger, peeled, sliced thin
- 1 whole medium-sized red bell pepper sliced, seeded
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 to 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup pitted green Spanish olives with pimientos; drained
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 2 teaspoons calamansi or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 2 stalks scallions chopped, for garnish
- for serving: steamed rice
- To cook in the Instant Pot (option 1) : Preheat the multicooker by selecting Sauté on high heat. After one minute, when inside pot becomes hot, add the vegetable oil. Oil becomes hot in one to two minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces to brown in 3 to 4 minutes, turning over each side for even browning.
- Move the chicken pieces to the sides, sauté the garlic, onions, ginger, and red peppers in the center of the inside pot for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Click Cancel to turn off Sauté button.
- Pour the soy sauce, broth, and calamansi juice. Add the apricots and olives. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Secure the lid. Check that the cooking pressure is on High and the release valve is set to Sealing.
- Select High Pressure and cook for 40 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, release the Sealing valve for about 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully unlock the pressure cooker lid.
- Stir the ingredients. Garnish with scallions. Serve warm with boiled rice.
- Cook’s comments: After the initial Sauté, it takes about 17 to 20 minutes for the Instant Pot to pre-heat before the High-Pressure cooking begins.
- To cook stove top (option 2): If you don’t own an Instant Pot or the current multicookers, you can cook this stove top.
- Follow the procedure above using a large stockpot. Over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil and braise the chicken pieces.
- Sauté the garlic, onions, ginger and red bell peppers.
- Pour the broth, soy sauce and calamansi juice.
- Add the apricots and olives. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Cover and cook on the stove top for 55 to 60 minutes or till chicken is completely cooked. Garnish accordingly.
- Disclosure: The cookbook was a gift from the author. I was not paid to mention the cookbook. But I will gladly recommend Weeknight Cooking with your Instant Pot by Kristy Bernardo for those who need quick, easy recipes for the multi-cooker on busy days.
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Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com – sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Disclosure: Instant Pot is a registered trademark of the Instant Pot Company which is not associated with this blog. I was not paid to review or endorse the brand and products used.