Nov 18

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken + A $100 Crate & Barrel Gift Card Giveaway!

in Chicken/Poultry, Fruits & Vegetables, Main Course, Slow Cooker

Apricot Cranberry Pecan Chicken Living in the United States, it can be easy to forget what seasonality is.  Fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter? Of course!  What isn’t easy to forget however, is how much better things taste when they are eaten during their season.  They are bursting with flavor.  It used to be that we didn’t have the luxury of our produce being shipped from all over the world so that we could have things out of season.  It used to be that the only way to appreciate the fruits and vegetables of other seasons was to preserve them through methods like canning and pickling.  I hope we’re going back in that direction, especially since there are so many great options for canned fruits and vegetables available, even if you don’t have your own garden. Del Monte®, a company in business here in the US for over 100 years, is one of those sources.  This month I’m participating in a BlogHer campaign with Del Monte® to talk about stocking your pantry, to “plant a garden” in your pantry if you will.  The great thing about canned goods is that the fruits and vegetables used are picked at their peak of ripeness, with the majority being canned the same day they are picked to lock in nutrients and flavor.  90% of Del Monte® fruits and vegetables are grown right here in the United States and 95% of their products are preservative free. With winter fast approaching and the holidays at our doorsteps, it’s a great time to rethink what is in our pantries and prepare for the months when fresh fruits and vegetables in season are lacking.  To help inspire you to plant your own garden pantry, I used some Del Monte® Apricot Halves in Light Syrup to whip up a great fall holiday dish—Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken. Del Monte Apricot Halves in Extra Light Syrup All you do is mix a few ingredients in a slow cooker, along with a can of the Del Monte® apricots, and some chicken breasts, turn on the heat and walk away.  When it’s time to serve, you remove the chicken and stir some toasted pecans and dried cranberries into the sauce remaining in the slow cooker and let the sauce cook for a few minutes longer so that all the flavors can come together and the sauce can thicken slightly. Making Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken Then all that’s left to do is serve the chicken over some steamed rice with the sauce spooned over it.  This dish incorporates some of the flavors I love most this time of year, and making it in the slow cooker frees you up to take care of so many of the other things there are to do during this busy holiday season!  To help you celebrate this holiday season I’ve got a giveaway (details after the recipe below) sponsored by Del Monte Foods for a $100 Crate & Barrel gift card! Slow Cooker Apricot Cranberry Pecan Chicken

Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings

3/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 (15 ounce) can Del Monte® Apricot Halves in extra light syrup
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or chicken thighs)
3/4 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Whisk the orange juice and cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth. Then add the orange juice mixture, soy sauce, chicken broth brown sugar, garlic, and ginger to a 6 quart slower cooker and whisk to combine. Then add the canned apricot halves, including the syrup.

2. Add the chicken breasts and stir to coat. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6 hours.

3. After cooking on low for 6 hours, remove the chicken breasts, leaving the cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Add the toasted pecans and dried cranberries to the slow cooker and stir to coat. Increase the heat to high heat, cover the cooker, and allow the mixture to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, to create the sauce.

4. Serve the chicken breasts on a bed of rice with the sauce ladled over the top.


$100 Crate & Barrel Gift Card Giveaway

There will be one (1) lucky winner who will receive a $100 Crate & Barrel gift card.  To enter, leave a comment answering the question: What are your favorite fruits or vegetables to stock in your pantry?


Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b: Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c: Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d: For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/18/2013-12/18/2013

Be sure to visit the Del Monte® brand page on where you can read other bloggers reviews and find more chances to win!


* Disclosure: I was compensated for recipe development and writing this post as part of my participation in a campaign with BlogHer and Del Monte Foods.  All opinions are my own.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Betzee November 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

Another slow cooker recipe I want to try!


Sarah H.P. November 18, 2013 at 9:20 am

I love mandarin oranges! I always keep them in my pantry!


Kay November 18, 2013 at 9:47 am

I like keeping chopped tomatoes in my pantry for a quick base for pasta sauce!


Betzee November 18, 2013 at 10:05 am

I always have apples on hand.


Dot November 18, 2013 at 10:37 am

I keep canned peaches in the pantry! Thanks for all your great recipes :)


Steffani November 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

I keep canned tomatoes and pumpkin on hand at all times.


angel November 18, 2013 at 11:13 am

I always have cans of tomatoes and pineapple


natalie November 18, 2013 at 11:51 am

i always have canned tomatoes and canned green chiles.


sara November 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

This looks delicious! I love to stock canned artichoke hearts. :)


Kenny November 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

For canned goods it’s gotta be corn and Ro-Tel tomatoes. And I usually have home grown tomatoes in the freezer that I process during the summer when they are plentiful.


Kenny November 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm
Urban Wife November 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Definitely diced/whole tomatoes!


Olga @ MangoTomato November 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I love canned corn, peas and tomatoes!!


Laurie @ Relishing It November 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I love pairing chicken with fruits–they work so well together. This dish looks delicious. We always have applesauce in our pantry. We love to eat it plain or use it in baking.


Mika November 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I love having frozen edamame.. although I suppose that is not the “pantry”. I try to always have it around because it is a vegetable option my kids eat and is easy to make. Also always have onions and garlic.


Mimi Holtz November 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm

We have canned corn on hand for tamale pie or corn chowder, tomato sauce too.


Kelie E November 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Pineapple. We loooove pineapple.


Marnely Rodriguez-Murray November 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I love stocking corn (for quick side dishes) and pineapple slices (for smoothies if I run of out fresh fruit!)


Carolyn M. November 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I always have diced canned tomatoes and also canned chickpeas!


Maureen November 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm

For me it is Mandarin Oranges and my husband loves loves canned pears. Then we always keep canned pumpkin in the pantry –I tend to make pumpkin bread with bananas a lot.


Abigail (Mamatouille) November 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Canned tomatoes, canned pumpkin, and loads of different dried fruits.


Joella Chudy November 18, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Corn, black beans, and diced tomatoes


Fuji Nana November 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Oh YUMMY! I have chicken thighs in the freezer. Do you think they would work? I always have canned corn, a variety of canned tomatoes, and mandarin oranges on my shelves.


Fuji Nana November 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm
Cheryl R November 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I always have diced tomatoes and pineapple cubes in my pantry.


Angela November 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Canned tomatoes!


Elicia P November 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Favorite fruit would have to be hands down Pineapple. So many ways to cook with it or add it to a smoothie (you know when you can’t find a fresh one for less than $5).


Therese November 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I like berries,apples, onions, carrots, and celery. They are good in so many recipes.


Eileen Sanborn November 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I’m looking forward to enjoying this delicious looking meal soon Rachael ~ thanks for a great recipe. I grew up in a home where my mom ALWAYS had canned pears and peaches stashed away in our pantry cupboard. It must be hereditary because I find that I try to always have them in my cupboard also! I also have some canned asparagus in my cupboard right now ~ next to tomato paste and sauce. Fun post!


Vicky November 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm

My favorite fruits/vegetables to stock in my pantry are pumpkin puree and diced tomatoes.


Melissa November 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm

I always have blueberries on stock… so many uses for such a tiny berry!


Jacob LaFountaine November 19, 2013 at 12:35 am

Tend to keep cans of corn and green beans around


Ashley H November 19, 2013 at 1:37 am

I like pineapple and peaches.


Kelly D November 19, 2013 at 4:03 am

I store canned corn, beans and peaches in my pantry.


Kelly D November 19, 2013 at 4:04 am
Madeline November 19, 2013 at 4:32 am

We stock a lot of canned corn, peas, beets, tropical fruit, pears, and peaches.


Katherine November 19, 2013 at 4:37 am

Butternut squash!


Madeline November 19, 2013 at 4:43 am
The Chinaman November 19, 2013 at 5:30 am

Onions, can’t do without them.


Debbie M November 19, 2013 at 6:14 am

I love to keep pineapple in my pantry to mix in savory recipes or just eat for snacking.


Deanna November 19, 2013 at 6:30 am

Canned tomatoes, and hubby loves canned corn!


Marla November 19, 2013 at 6:43 am

Always have canned tomatoes on hand…never know when you’re going to need them!


Ilana November 19, 2013 at 7:07 am

I like to keep pineapple, fruit cocktail in juice, diced tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato sauce, corn and all kinds of beans.


Ashley C November 19, 2013 at 7:17 am

I always have pineapple, green beans, and creamed corn!



Alicia November 19, 2013 at 7:25 am

Pineapple and diced tomatoes are always stocked up on my pantry :)


rachel travis November 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

I always keep corn, green beans and pineapple :)

rachelmarietravis at gmail dot com


Carol November 19, 2013 at 10:03 am

Have LOVED Del Monte stewed tomatoes for years. So good you can eat them right out of the can.
Now I love the “new” version: stewed tomatoes with jalapenos, garlic & cumin. You can add them to anything in a slow cooker or dutch oven to add a little zing. I stretch the boundaries a bit with them. Current favorite is a meatless black bean soup with dried beans cooked in half water and half beef broth, cumin and those stewed tomatoes with jalapeno/garlic/cumin. Also like it with cooked farro instead of white rice and I add sliced green onions to top; garnish with avocado and or dollops of sour cream or yogurt, depending on how fat-free you want to be.

Another old favorite: Del Monte canned peaches with little whole cloves included. Love to serve them cold on an individual plate atop a leaf of curly lettuce when I’m serving lasagne. They’re also great in a slow cooker with a little butter and curry powder added.

Have loved Del Monte products for many years! Thanks for your great quality consistency throughout.


Mary November 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

Canned Pumpkin – year round! Good for so many things…..Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Smoothies, Pumpkin Dip, Pumpkin Bread, etc…..etc..


Jan R November 19, 2013 at 10:35 am

I have green beans, corn, tomatoes, peaches, pears and all the cans to make chili.


Kristen November 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

We keep canned tomatoes and tomato paste for quick sauces, and I love canned peaches for a quick lunch with cottage cheese or on top of a bed of arugula.


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