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Sheet-Pan Sticky Apricot Chicken



Chicken legs on a platter with an apricot jam sauce roasted onions and carrots topped with fresh chives.
Photo by Elizabeth Coetzee, Food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich

A sheet-pan dinner is easy to make, and can be just as comforting as its more involved, multi-pot-and-pan counterparts. Case in point: These glossy, sticky-sweet apricot chicken legs roasted alongside carrots and a red onion. They make for a quick, stress-free dinner that hits all the marks. The secret to making it fuss-free all comes down to a jar of apricot jam, a shortcut ingredient that gives the chicken and vegetables a moreish sticky texture, mirror-like shine, and welcomed sweetness. Paired with vinegar, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, and plenty of garlic, the jam transforms into a salty-sweet sauce that caramelizes in the oven, taking the chicken and veggies from good to great. Scattered with a bounty of thinly sliced chives, the dinner is proof positive that the simplest recipes are often the best.

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What you’ll need

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    1 hour

  • Yield

    4 servings


4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 2 lb. total), patted dry
2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more
8 garlic cloves, finely grated
⅔ cup apricot jam
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
1½ lb. small carrots (about 14), peeled, sliced into 2" pieces, halved if very large
1 large red onion, halved, thickly sliced
Thinly sliced chives (for serving; optional)


  1. Step 1

    Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 400°. Generously season 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 2 lb. total), patted dry, with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

    Step 2

    Whisk together 8 garlic cloves, finely grated, ⅔ cup apricot jam, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, and 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper in a large bowl. Set dressing aside.

    Step 3

    Place 1½ lb. small carrots (about 14), peeled, sliced into 2" pieces, halved if very large, and 1 large red onion, halved, thickly sliced, on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt and drizzle ¾ cup reserved dressing over; toss to evenly coat. Scatter vegetables out in a single layer.

    Step 4

    Place reserved chicken legs in remaining dressing and toss to coat; arrange on top of vegetables. Spoon any remaining dressing in bowl over chicken, allowing it to drip down onto baking sheet. Roast, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until carrots are tender, chicken is deep golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a leg registers 165°, 40–50 minutes.

    Step 5

    Move chicken to edges of baking dish and toss vegetables in any sauce pooled on baking sheet. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a platter, allowing any excess liquid to drip back onto baking sheet. Arrange chicken on top; discard any excess liquid on baking sheet. Scatter thinly sliced chives over chicken and vegetables if desired.

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  • Looked exceptional coming out of the oven but too sweet for our taste. Perhaps it was the homemade jam. Needed a little kick to offset the sweetness.

    • Anonymous

    • BC Canada

    • 5/29/2024

  • This was so awful we threw it out.

    • Sheila Siegel

    • Los Angeles

    • 6/4/2024

  • Loved Making this recipe

    • Anonymous

    • 5/16/2024

  • I would love to see a "print" button on this recipe, to remind myself to make it. Otherwise, it's out of sight, out of mind.

    • Jennifer

    • Gig Harbor

    • 5/30/2024

  • I would also have loved a print option for this recipe.

    • Valerie

    • New York

    • 5/30/2024

  • Definitely need a ‘print’ option!

    • Gaye Keep

    • Victoria BC

    • 5/31/2024

  • This recipe sounded delicious, but none of us really liked it. It wasn't particularly sweet, and it certainly wasn't sticky. Jam plus garlic plus soy sauce - meh! I would not make this again. Some others mentioned that the recipe wouldn't print. You need to sign in and click the icon on the left side of the screen. Formatting isn't great, but it does print.

    • Michele

    • Los Angeles, CA

    • 5/31/2024

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