Peach Lacquered Chicken Salad
Peaches are out in abundance for summer!
Here in Oklahoma we have a few wonderful peach farms .
I remember going with my children when they were little to pick them. The peach tree branches were heavy laden and drooping to the ground with juicy ripe peaches and the kids would lovingly pick them and squeal with excitement as the added them one by one to the bushel basket we used to hold them.
We would take them home and cut them in slices, while the sweet juices dripped down our wrists and arms but they were SO delicious.
This weekend our live-in adopted daughter’s grandparents dropped in for a visit and we made this salad. It was refreshing, healthy and delicious during our scorching hot summer evening.
And by scorching, I mean HOT!
And it involved peaches.
I sliced one large peach in half, and pitted it.
Then I tossed it into the food processor and whirred it up skin and all!
I kept going, about 30 seconds until it became a smooth and luscious orange tinted puree.
Then I measured out roughtly 1/3 cup of it into a bowl.
To that I added in 1/3 cup of white balsamic vinegar, one minced clove of garlic, 1/3 cup of honey, a little salt and pepper and then whisked that all together. Next, drizzle in a little olive oil – 2 tablespoons, or to your liking. Taste as you go and figure out your perfect blend. I like mine a little tangier but you could add more oil. I really wanted the peach flavor to shine through! Lastly, julienne up some fresh basil and toss it in.
I let this set for all the flavors to marry each other while we moved on to making the chicken.
First we made a thick peach glaze out of the rest of the peach puree, 1/2 cup of honey, and a splash of white balsamic. For added spice, I added in a bit of red pepper flakes as well.
Put this over medium heat, until it bubbles. Then simmer it gently until it reduces by half and will coat the back of a spoon.
True story. While making the first batch of glaze, I stupidly tried to multi-task and left the kitchen, committing my cardinal #1 rule of cooking. Never walk away from the stove! Not long after, I heard the little mutts barking up a storm and came out to a smoke-filled house minutes before our out-town guests were arriving!
Anyone else ever messed up this big before or am I just special?
Grill up four chicken breasts or thighs, whichever you prefer. We love thighs for grilling as they stay nice and moist and wonderful.
Also cut your remaining four peaches in half, pull out the pits and dip them cut side down into the syrupy glaze. A less-ripe peach is good here so they won’t become too soft and fall apart!
After the chicken is done and your peaches are carmelized with nice grill marks on the cut side, remove it all and slice them all up.
We built our salads with fresh spring mix, shaved Asiago cheese, a few scattered pieces of avocado, candied spiced nuts (get my recipe here), and then layered on the sliced chicken and peaches.
Drizzle the yummy peach dressing over top of all and eat it right away!
Peaches are summer at its best.
- DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
- 1 peach, cut in half and pitted
- ⅓ c. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ⅓ c. honey
- ¼ t. salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T. fresh sliced basil
- GLAZE INGREDIENTS & CHICKEN:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (we love thighs)
- 4 large peaches
- 2 avocados, cut into bite sized pieces
- ½ c. shaved Asiago cheese strips
- ½ c. candied spiced nuts
- Rest of peach puree from dressing
- ½ c. honey
- 1 clove garlic
- splash of white balsamic vinegar
- ½ t. red pepper flakes
- Sauce -Mix all together well in small saucepan.
- Over medium heat, heat until bubbles form then simmer until reduced by half. (Will coat the back of a spoon).
- Slice remaining 4 peaches in half and pit.
- Grill chicken as normal, brushing the last 5-6 minutes on each side with glaze.
- Dip cut side only of peaches in glaze and place on grill for about 3-4 minutes until they begin to caramelize and soften.
- When chicken is done, slice in strips and slice peaces as well.
- Layer on salad with cheese,avocado and nuts.
- Drizzle dressing over all.
To see what others are making with peaches, check out the delicious recipes below!