In the constant struggle to get dinner on the table, chicken is the hurried, harried cook’s friend. But it’s a different kind of constant struggle to find new, delicious and nutritious chicken recipes. Health educator and Sharecare expert Daphne Oz features a great one in her new book, Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun. A special plus: This recipe makes the most of fresh peaches, which should start appearing in your grocery before too long. Watch the video to hear Daphne Oz talk about the joys of eating in season:
Chile Jam Chicken with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches
This is not your average chicken dinner. Chile jam adds spice and sweetness, and the accompaniments of caramelized sweet potatoes and peaches take it out of this world. Let the chicken thighs continue to crisp in a cast-iron pan as the jam glaze reduces around them, and it will naturally create a crisp sticky-crunchy coating that is to die for!
4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
Fresh-cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons chile jam (some of my favorites: Hell Fire Pepper Jelly from Jenkins Jellies or INNA Jam’s Plenty Spicy Jalapeño for heat seekers)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches (recipe follows)
1. Pat the chicken dry and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and arrange the chicken thighs inside (cast iron works really well to get a nice crispy crust). Brown the chicken on one side, giving the chicken time to unstick itself from the pan surface and form a good, crispy coating, about 10 minutes (you can give it some help with your tongs or spatula if needed). Flip the chicken thighs and brown for 6 to 10 minutes, or until you can insert a knife to the bone and no red liquid emerges.
2. Lower heat to medium-low and spoon a quarter of the chile jam over each thigh. Melt the jam over the chicken and on all sides, using tongs to flip and swirl the thighs in the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the jam to form a glaze. Remove the thighs to a serving plate and spoon the glaze on top. Scrape up any bits sticking to the bottom of the pan—these will be the crispiest and the first to go!
3. Just before serving, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the chicken to brighten its flavors and heighten the sweetness and spice. Serve with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches.
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches
This is one of those recipes that sort of just popped into my head as a possibility and then became a luscious reality once I got into the kitchen and started experimenting. The peaches caramelize and burst with juice in every bite, while the sweet potato gives this side dish some hearty, vitamin-packed substance. And if you’ve never tried a roasted onion before, well, my friend, you are in for a treat—as they roast, they turn subtly sweet and tender, adding tons of flavor without overpowering the dish.
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, room temperature (if it is cold, the coconut oil will solidify on contact)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium peaches, pitted and sliced into 4 wedges each
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and quartered
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut oil, syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Put the potato and peaches in 2 separate bowls. Pour three quarters of the syrup mixture over the sweet potato and one-quarter over the peaches and toss. Spread the potato in an even layer in a large baking dish and roast for 10 minutes. Toss the potato and roast for 5 minutes more. Add the onion and roast for 15 minutes. Toss the potato and onion, add the peaches in an even layer, and roast 10 minutes, or until the potato and onion are fork tender and the peaches have caramelized.
One of my favorite tricks to help balance the rich sweetness of this particular dish is to add a quick salad of mixed greens or kale with a lemony dressing as a side dish. To go a little fancier, toss together a quick gremolata, or herb condiment. Take the zest of 1 lemon and half its juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish (if you have it; you can substitute 1 grated garlic clove if you don’t), 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice, and a big handful of torn parsley and toss together with a pinch of salt and 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or whole pine nuts work best) to add some crunch and texture. Use this mix to add a bright hit of acidity that will make all the flavors of a rich, bold meal more fun to eat!
From Relish by Daphne Oz. Copyright (c) 2013 by Daphne Oz. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
CTA: Find out more about this book: Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun.
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