Sweet and Spicy Apricot BBQ Chicken Thighs


Apricot BBQ Sauce:
• Canola oil
• 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)
• 1 tablespoon minced Fresno chile, seeds removed (1 chile)
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)
• One 13-ounce jar apricot jam
• 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (1 large orange)
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/2 cup ketchup
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Chicken Thighs:
• 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 16 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
• Canola oil
• Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

• For the apricot BBQ sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chile and garlic; cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the apricot jam; cook until the jam melts, 3 to 4 minutes more. Pour in the orange juice and cider vinegar, bring to a simmer, and then add the ketchup, honey, Dijon and Worcestershire. Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
• Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Add salt to taste. Remove 1 cup for basting the chicken; reserve the rest for serving.
• For the chicken thighs: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
• Place the chicken thighs on two foil-lined baking sheets. Lightly coat the thighs with canola oil and sprinkle liberally with the spice mixture on both sides.
• Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 35 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Baste the chicken with BBQ sauce and broil until the sauce has caramelized and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 160 degrees F, about 2 minutes. Remove to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes
• Sprinkle the chicken with parsley, and serve with the reserved BBQ sauce.
• When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Valerie Bertinelli via Food Network

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