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Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

We all need more ideas for quick, healthy dinners, don’t we? I feel like I can never have too many recipes that I can  get on the table in just about a half an hour--especially now that it’s back to school time. We’re all so busy, but we still want to get good, home cooked food into our bellies!

For the month of September, we’re celebrating "30 Days of Family Health,” sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The focus here is that the best prevention for diabetes starts early in life, through maintaining a healthy lifestyle and developing good habits at a young age. There are twelve bloggers helping to promote this healthy message for the month of September, so there will be no shortage of recipe ideas brought to you by the ADA and some very talented cookbook authors! All you have to do is follow along and enjoy the ride. Check out Kitchen PLAY to get all of the latest details, links and recipes.

One of the most reasonably priced cuts of meat that I can get at my local grocery store is boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and this recipe utilizes them beautifully and quickly. As a bonus, there are very few ingredients. It’s basically chicken thighs served in a sweet/tangy sauce made up of Port Wine, Apricot Preserves and Dijon Mustard. As I was looking through The Smart Shopper Diabetes Cookbook by Robyn Webb, it struck me that the Winter Squash Polenta would be the perfect recipe to contrast with the sweetness of the sauce from the chicken. I was right! These two recipes are made for each other. I added some simple sautéed sliced summer squash and zucchini to the plate and we were ready to dig in. (If you’re following a strict diet and guidelines from the ADA, you may want to use a vegetable side dish recipe from one of their approved cookbooks to track the exact nutritional info.)

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta


Servings: 4 Serving Size: 4 ounces Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup no-sugar-added apricot preserves

1/4 cup ruby port wine

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and sear on both sides for about 6–7 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet, add to a plate, and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the garlic. Sauté the garlic on medium heat for 1 minute. Mix together the preserves, port, and mustard and add to the garlic. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add back the chicken, nestle the chicken in the sauce, and cook on low heat for 1–2 minutes.


1/2 Carbohydrate
3 Lean Meat
1 Fat
Calories 215
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 105 mg
Sodium 370 mg
Potassium 255 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 19 g
Phosphorus 175 mg

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

Note: Because I averted from the following recipe for the Winter Squash Polenta by leaving out the Parmesan cheese, that would be a variation on an ADA-approved recipe, and not sanctioned by the ADA. Each recipe in all of the ADA’s cookbooks goes through a strict review process to ensure that they adhere to the nutritional guidelines for people with diabetes. The nutritional info below the recipe (as well as the recipe itself) reflects the entire recipe from the book, with the cheese.


Servings: 4 Serving Size: ⅔ cup Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

To serve this with the Apricot Port Mustard Glazed Chicken above, I left out the Parmesan cheese, but you can feel free to add it if you wish. Of course, leaving out the Parmesan cheese would change the nutritional information below slightly.

4 cups water

1 cup coarse Polenta

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup thawed frozen winter squash puree

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Garnish: ¼ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the polenta, salt and pepper and whisk on medium-low heat until the polenta is thickened and comes away from the sides of the pan, about 15 minutes.

Add in the winter squash and maple syrup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the Parmesan cheese.


2 ½ Starch
Calories 185
Calories from Fat 15
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 380 mg
Potassium 145 mg
Total Carbohydrate 36 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 5 g
Phosphorus 75 mg

There will be many cookbooks highlighted this month that are available in the ADA catalog. You can shop there now and receive a 25% discount on all books until October 4th, 2013! The discount code is KITCHEN2013. Remember, follow along at Kitchen PLAY for more links all month long, and stay tuned to this space for two more 30 Days of Family Health this month.

*This post is sponsored by the ADA in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY.

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

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Reader Comments (10)

Of course, this looks amazing! Too often, when people think "healthy", they translate it to "deprivation". This recipe (and Robyn's) just proves that it doesn't have to be that way!

September 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee J. (RJ Flamingo)

I completely agree, Renee. Thanks for popping in!

September 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterElle

I absolutely could not wait to see these - that sticky glaze sounds ridiculous! And the polenta sounds like the perfect accompaniment. Yum all around :).

September 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather @girlichef

That glaze sounds absolutely heavenly. And the polenta- whoa! I just did a pumpkin polenta and I want to eat it non-stop :)

September 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSues

When I look at this I may think healthy but what I really think is wow I want to be served this for dinner! I adore fruity sauces and glazes with meat and have made chicken with a soy-apricot preserve glaze... and now I absolutely need to try this! And with the polenta - which I love but I'm thinking how extra good it will be with the squash blended in. Beautiful beautiful meal!

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

These two recipes would complement each other perfectly. Chicken thighs are so often overlooked, but they are one of my favorite quick meals to feed my family.

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCookin Canuck

This is one of the recipes I wanted to make! It looks mouthwatering in your photos.

September 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy @ What Jew Wanna Eat

Thank you, Amy!

September 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterElle

This meal looks and sounds delicious. I've bookmarked to try soon. I'm going to try the chicken thighs in the slow cooker. Have committed to using it every day for a year to make WW friendly recipes. Love the idea of winter squash in the polenta too. And you've even got all the nutritional information I need to calculate the points!!

Thank you, Martha, for popping in! This chicken is a real winner, and I can imagine how tender it'll be in the slow cooker.

December 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterElle

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