This is a rich and savory dish that’s a feast for the eyes and the mouth, plus it can be made quickly on a weeknight without too much prep work. If the combination of apricot, sage and mustard sounds a bit odd, just think “fancy honey mustard.” That’s basically what this sauce is, and though it’s currently about 80 degrees here in Houston, the rich flavor of sage always makes it feel like the winter holidays for some reason.
This recipe clocks in at just under 500 calories, which puts it in the low calorie range but it’s not super low, so it’s may not be a good fit for anyone trying to keep a very low calorie (1000 calories or less) weight loss plan. Then again, this dish is surprisingly rich for the amount of calories it has, it tastes almost too good to be true. We have the full nutrition breakdown at the bottom. Remember you can always swap ingredients out for more of less calories depending on your plan. If you have enough calories left for an extra tablespoon of butter for the sauce… well that’s up to you.
The combination of apricots, sage, mustard and just a little bit of butter make this a really rich and flavorful dish, and it will keep well in the fridge if you’re meal prepping for the week.
Who loves brown rice? Nobody, that’s who. We tolerate because it’s cheap and good for us, but sometimes you deserve the fancy stuff. We definitely recommend using a wild rice blend, or just wild rice (sometimes called black rice) for this dish, as it compliments the sweet-and-tangy flavors really well and adds a lot of texture. Wild rice (which is not actually a rice!) is much lower in carbs and higher in fiber than white rice, and a lot tastier than plain brown rice.
This whole meal takes just one pan, but you’ll need some extra plates, bowls, and a pot or rice cooker. A pair of tongs and a whisk would be great but a spatula and fork will also work. Remember to check out our other weight loss recipes and if you’re looking for a medical weight loss program in Houston that combines diet plans with FDA-approved medication to help you lose weight fast, take a look at our program.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 large carrots
- 1 cup wild rice blend
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon fresh chopped sage
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Total time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4
- Peel and chop carrots into thin slices (thicker if you like a bit more crunch). You should have around 2 cups of sliced carrots total. Peel garlic and slice thinly. Set aside.
- Go ahead and get the rice cooking first as it will need time. The blend we’re using calls for 1 ¾ cups of water, but your instructions may vary depending on the blend and brand.
- Add the 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium-high heat. Salt and pepper chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken thighs to the skillet and cook for three minutes. Flip thighs and cook an additional three minutes. The thighs will not be cooked through. Using tongs, set aside on a plate. Be sure to keep the pan juices, do not wipe down the skillet.
- While chicken is cooking, add ¼ apricot preserves, the ½ cup chicken stock, and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard to a medium bowl. Using a fork or a whisk, blend (there will be some apricot chunks from the preserves no matter what you do, don’t worry about getting it perfectly blended, it’s going in the pan anyway).
- Add carrots, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the fresh chopped sage to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so to avoid burning the carrots.
- Clear a space in the middle of the skillet and add the chicken thighs, along with any remaining juices, to the skillet. Place the flat side (where the skin would be) down against the surface of the pan, this will ensure a pretty sear and more appetizing look. Add the apricot mixture to the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until chicken reads 165 F on a meat thermometer.
- Transfer rice to plates first. Using tongs, add one chicken thigh and ¼ of the carrots to each serving, reserving as much remaining juices in the pan as you can.
- Reduce heat to low and add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. For a spicier kick, add in some extra black pepper.
- Divide pan sauce evenly among servings and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of fresh sage.
Makes 4 servings (some sauce will be left over and can be used again).
Per serving: Calories 470, Protein 24g, Carbs 54g, Fat 18g, Sodium 737mg
|Chicken Thighs (4oz ea)||600.0||32.0||80.0||0.0||0.0||800.0||0.0|
|1/2 cup Chicken Stock||12.0||0.3||1.0||1.5||0.0||792.0||0.0|
|Total (4 servings)||1883.0||73.3||99.0||217.5||63.0||2948.0||19.0|