A few days ago, my husband wanted to go out to a local restaurant for dinner. I have two favorite things about this restaurant: their wings and the malt vinegar they put on all the tables for French fries. Growing up, when we would get fries at a carnival or other event, I loved to douse them in vinegar. So, I ordered a meal that came with French fries and soaked them with vinegar. I mean soaked! (Vinegar is healthy, right?!) As I was looking at the bottle, a recipe for “Peachy Chicken” caught my eye. I really enjoy chicken, and I have become more adventurous in trying new recipes. So, I took a picture of the recipe and got any ingredients I did not have when I went grocery shopping this morning.
I began by gathering all of the ingredients.
I poured about a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the bottom of a large stainless steel skillet. The original recipe calls for vegetable oil, but I took some culinary liberties throughout my cooking time. The recipe also called for chicken breasts with skin still on them, but all I had in the house was boneless, skinless chicken breast. It worked just fine.
I browned both sides of the chicken in the pan.
While the chicken was browning, I mixed together malt vinegar, frozen orange juice concentrate, canned peach juice, brown sugar, basil, cinnamon, clove, salt, and pepper. I used a quart jar of home canned peaches and only poured in half of the liquid and used half the peaches from the jar toward the end of the cooking, since the recipe called for a 16 ounce can, and a quart is 32 ounces.
I mixed all the ingredients for the sauce in a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup. This made it simple to use displacement to measure the wet ingredients, stir everything together, and pour it into the pan. Using measuring cups to mix things together is a handy tip. It works really well for pancake mix; it makes pouring pancake batter onto a griddle very simple!
Once the chicken was browned, I poured the vinegar and peach juice mixture over the chicken.
I then covered it, turned the heat down a bit, and left it simmer for 25 minutes. I occasionally spooned some of the liquid over the chicken and flipped the chicken a few times while it was cooking.
While the chicken was simmering, I made some brown rice to serve the chicken over. I just used instant brown rice, but I’m sure any kind of rice, or maybe even quinoa or barley would be a good base for this meal. Use your imagination!
As the chicken was simmering, the house was filled with a spicy aroma. The ground cloves mixed with the scent of peaches smelled amazing!
After 25 minutes, I checked the temperature of the chicken, and it was above 165 degrees Fahrenheit, so I sliced up half of the jar of peaches and added them to the skillet. I turned the heat back up just a little bit to warm the peaches.
While the peaches were heating, I mixed up one tablespoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of water. The original recipe called for two tablespoons of each, but the sauce seemed slightly thick to begin with, and I did not want it to turn into paste, so I used less cornstarch. I slowly poured the cornstarch mixture into the skillet, stirring constantly as best I could around the peaches and chicken.
Once the sauce was a little thicker, I put dinner on my plate. I placed the rice down first, set one half of a chicken breast on top of the rice, added a few peaches, and then spooned some sauce over the top of everything. (I enjoy watching Food Network so I thought I would try out my plating skills!)
I was very pleased with the way this recipe turned out! The chicken was moist, and the warm, spiced peaches tasted very good! I am not a fan of having different parts of my meal touching, let alone mixed together, but with this meal, I had a bit of rice, chicken, and peach in each bite and it was a lovely combination!
As I was eating, a few adjustments came to mind. First of all, I should have poured less sauce on my plate. My rice was swimming. Secondly, I think I added a little more than half of the peach juice from the jar, making the sauce sweeter than I anticipated. Next time, I will either add less peach juice, or I will add more vinegar to offset the sugar. Another change I think I will make for next time is to back off the ground clove a little bit. I mentioned both of these adjustments to my husband, and he said he really enjoyed it the way it is and he didn’t think I needed to change a thing.
I encourage you to try out this recipe for you and your family! It was something out of the ordinary, and it really was tasty! Feel free to comment with any adjustments to the recipe you may have made, as well as how you enjoyed the meal!
Original Recipe (from a bottle of Heinz Malt Vinegar):
2 ½ pounds skinned chicken
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 can (16 oz.) peaches
¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
¼ cup malt vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
Drain 1 can (16 ounces) peaches, reserving liquid; set aside. In large skillet, brown chicken in vegetable oil. Combine reserved peach liquid, orange juice concentrate, malt vinegar, brown sugar, basil, salt, clove, cinnamon, and pepper. Pour over chicken. Cover; simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add peaches; heat. Combine cornstarch and water; stir into sauce. Heat, stirring until sauce is thickened. Serve chicken and sauce with rice. Makes 4-5 servings.