I’m not sure if the following phenomenon is a Southern thing or if it occurs all over the US; please let me know.
From spring to summer in the south, seemingly every small town holds festivals. These events are all very different but all similar. Their commonality is that they celebrate a food item – perhaps a crop grown in the area or a local specialty. Off the top of my head I can think of a peanut festival, an okra ‘strut,’ a peanut festival, a crawfish festival, and a poultry festival. My town’s specialty? The peach festival.
The peach trees around here line the country roads intensely. As a neighboring town has sprawled out, city fixtures abut peach groves. Road side stands pop up for a brief while – only check or cash accepted – with little old bitties selling the family’s fruits. Last year I made peach bars with the fuzzy fruits after we tired of eating them while standing over the sink, dripping unfortunately into the sink.
This year, inspired by a local restaurant’s marquee, I set out to make a savory peach chicken recipe. I started with an Ellie Krieger recipe and reworked it to suit my schedule and ingredient preferences.
This meal was worthy of company – my husband, who doesn’t prefer fruit with meat, adored the chicken. Even better, it reheats fantastically.
nonstick cooking spray
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, split in half lengthwise into thin cutlets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon peach balsamic vinegar or other balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 large firm-ripe peaches, cut into 1/4-inch slices
scallions for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the nonstick spray in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Meanwhile combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and orange juice in a small bowl and set aside. When the chicken is browned, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, the soy sauce mixture, and the peaches to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and cook, uncovered, for about 3minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken and the peaches soften.
- Add the chicken and peach sauce mixture to a large baking dish and bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes.
- Serve, garnished with sliced scallions.