To be completely honest, I just haven’t felt like cooking lately. I’m going to blame summer and the long days and light evenings and all the things I’d rather do right now like visit with my family and read a book on the couch and have evening marathons of Parenthood with Gerrit. I haven’t had a lot of motivation to get into the kitchen this summer. Everything looks too complicated. All the recipes I’ve been sifting through recently (with the exception of ice cream) have seemed better suited for fall.
But this is an exception. This is a dish that is full of the fresh flavors of summer peaches. It is also a dinner in which I will pretend I actually like fruit and maybe no one will noticed that I never actually put a slice of peach on my plate.
I wish I liked fruit. I really really do. But, being a super taster, fruits are just a little too pungent and bright and make my mouth turn in all kinds of ways because the flavors are just too juicy and strong. In fact, the extent of my liking fruit are bananas that are still somewhat green and peeled gala apples. Also blackberry sangria. And I promise that I have tried all sorts of things, but fruit and me just don’t get along for right now. Maybe when I’m older and loose my taste buds we will become reacquainted.
Which is why I love this chicken cooked with peaches. The peaches give the chicken just enough fruit flavor to brighten it up and make it taste fresh and full of summer. But I don’t actually have to eat the peach part. Other people can do that. This chicken comes out tender and juicy and perfectly flavored with peach and basil and is pretty darn healthy, even when I don’t eat the peaches.
And the big plus here is that it took me about fifteen minutes to put together (ok, maybe a bit longer because I really had no idea how to slice a peach) plus the twenty minutes it spends in the oven. And while, yes, you can throw some herbs on some chicken in about half the time (which believe me, I do about once a week), I think this comes out with a gourmet feel in such a simple way, which is just what I need on these non-motivating summer days.
Basil Peach Chicken
adapted from Southern Living Magazine June 2012
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced or grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
3 large peaches, peeled and sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.
3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the chicken and cook on both sides until chicken is browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
4. Add the shallot to the skillet and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Then add the ginger and garlic, cooking for 1 more minute. Take the skillet off the heat and add the basil, chicken broth, and peaches, stirring gently to combine. Add the chicken back to the skillet nestling it in the layer of peaches.
5. Bake the chicken in the skillet in the oven until it is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.