Skip to Content

Apricot Chicken with Olives

Need a new twist on the traditional apricot chicken? This Mediterranean version with fresh olives, sumac and shallots is a winner!


Apricot chicken is traditionally made with an apricot jam glaze.

My mom used to make it like that. I think she combined it with soy sauce, but there are a myriad of ways to prepare it.

This honey baked chicken with apricots and olives isn’t quite  Chicken Marbella, but its preparation is similar.

Basically this chicken is marinated overnight and then baked the next day.

Totally easy and totally luscious, this simple chicken is perfect for friends and family.

Citrus is a predominant flavor in this recipe with both lemon and orange juice as part of the marinade.

The other fun ingredient that you may have not used much is sumac.

Chicken with Apricots


Sumac is a red spice made from the flowers of the sumac bush and is a common household spice in the Middle East.

Sumac helps brighten the flavors of many dishes and also adds color.

Tart and lemony, sumac can be used on most anything that requires lemon, however lemon is stronger and more astringent than sumac.

Treat yourself at your favorite spice store or order it from Amazon. Kroger even carries sumac now.

I find myself sprinkling it on most anything now that I have it in my cupboard.

Perfect on chicken or fish or even lamb, if you find yourself needing a lemon, sumac might just work instead.

When making this chicken dish, be sure to have the right sized chicken.

Honestly it is hard to find a chicken that isn’t huge. Sometimes buying parts of chicken is easier.

I prefer the smaller 3.5 to 4 lb chickens. If they are larger one should cut the breasts in half. Also adjust the marinade accordingly.

The proper sized chicken makes it easier to cook this chicken dish more accurately.

Chicken with Apricots


Apricot Chicken Marinade:

Begin by salting the chicken and sprinkling with pepper. Set aside while making the marinade.

In a large bowl or a zip lock bag combine fresh lemon juice, orange juice, honey, 4 to 6 garlic cloves, thyme, sumac, olive oil, apricots and olives.

Let marinate overnight. The next day it’s as simple as adding shallots and white wine and letting the chicken roast at a high temperature.

If there isn’t enough liquid, feel free to add more.

It doesn’t get much simpler than this untraditional apricot chicken recipe.

The fun part is you could swap out the apricots for other dried fruit such as plums or dates.

Not sure what type of dried apricots to use?

I prefer the Turkish apricot which is dried whole, though the pit is removed.  Turkish apricots are lighter in color and have a slightly sweeter taste.

California apricots are split in half and then dried, giving them a more wrinkly exterior.

Chicken with Apricots

Everyone loved this easy and flavorful recipe. The apricots get a bit jammy and the olives are plentiful.

In fact if you aren’t an olive lover, feel free to sub in some capers or just cut back a bit on the olives and perhaps increase the shallots.

This chicken can be made ahead and kept for several hours until it is ready to be browned under the broiler. Just warm it up at 325 and once warmed, place under the broiler for browning.

Perhaps because it is so simple, this is a fun dish to make. But often, and certainly in this case, simple is best!

A great chicken dish for Fall. A great chicken dish for a Shabbat dinner. And certainly for Rosh Hashanah, this chicken with honey and sumac is perfect for any holiday!

Need a Few More?

Jewish Recipes

Jewish Recipes

chicken marbella

Chicken Marbella

Braised Chicken with Apples and Sausage

Braised Chicken with Apples and Sausage

I’d Love it if you’d Follow Me on Pinterest and Pin and Share!

Chicken with Apricots and Olives Pin


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Chicken with Apricots

Apricot Chicken with Olives

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Total Time: 60 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American/Mediterranean


This Mediterranean chicken with apricots, olives and sumac is full of flavor and so easy to prepare.



3.5 to 4 lb chicken

1 T kosher salt

1 1/2 t fresh ground black pepper

1/4 c fresh lemon juice

1 lemon sliced and seeded

1/4 c fresh orange juice

1/4 c honey

4 to 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3/4 t dried thyme

3 T ground sumac

1 c dried apricots

1 c pitted Castelvetrano olives

2 T olive brine

4 large or 8 small shallots, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters or halves

1/4 c dry white wine


Season each piece of chicken, inside and out. Be sure to salt and pepper under the skin, too.

In a large bowl or resealable bag, place lemon juice, orange juice, honey, garlic, thyme, sumac and 3 T olive oil. Combine well.

Add lemon slices, apricots, olives, and olive brine.

Add chicken and cover tightly before sealing. Refrigerate up to 24 hours, turning the bag from time to time or tossing the chicken pieces in the bowl.

When ready to bake, position an oven rack 8″ from the broiler source. Positions the other rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 450.

Toss shallots with remaining tablespoon of oil and spread out on a large sheet pan with cut sides down. Place on the lower oven rack and cook for 5 – 10 minutes until shallots just barely turn golden.

Remove the pan from the oven and using a slotted spoon place all ingredients from the bag of chicken on the sheet pan RESERVING marinade. Arrange chicken skin side up and return to oven. Cook 15 minutes, basting with the drippings and cook until chicken juices run clear, about 10 minutes longer. Remove pan from oven and preheat broiler to high.

Pour the reserved marinade and wine over the chicken and broil until the chicken is browned and the liquid has thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. If the apricots start to brown to quickly, turn them over in the sauce.

When nice and brown, transfer the chicken to a platter and pour the sauce over everything.


I like to serve this with noodles or rice or even mashed potatoes. Polenta works also!


Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Sarah Beth

Friday 19th of April 2024

I'll be making three chickens cut up. Should I triple the rest of the ingredients? Double them? I'm so excited to make this recipe!


Friday 19th of April 2024

Hi Sara Beth. I would triple the ingredients! Enjoy!


Friday 3rd of March 2023

Marinating up to 24 hours seems like too long for chicken in a citrus marinade. It's usually recommended that 6 hours is the maximum since the acid in the juices would start to cook the chicken if marinated longer. I'm curious is you've left the chicken in the marinade for 24 hours.


Friday 3rd of March 2023

Hi Melanie. Yes you are right you do have to be careful how long you marinate chicken. I do not remember how long I marinated it but as long as it is no longer than 24 hours, I wouln't worry about it.


Wednesday 8th of September 2021

Yay ! You got me with olives and sumac !!!!! Great twist Abbe !!!

Chef Mimi

Friday 3rd of September 2021

this is fantastic! Olives and apricots sound wonderful, but then you add in all of the other ingredients and flavors… fabulous!


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Best apricot chicken with sumac I've ever had! MS