Chicken with Grilled Peaches and Arugula Salad


Chicken and Grilled Peaches

School may be back in session, but summer is here to stay…for a while at least. While the temps are up, we’re taking advantage of every opportunity to be outdoors, manning the grill. So this week’s recipe pays homage to that summertime tradition, with a sweet new recipe you have to taste to believe.

Peaches are at their prime right now. And we’re crazy about them! We were staring at a beautiful basket of the fuzzy orange-pink orbs, wondering…could we? (Grill them, that is.) The answer, a very exuberant YES!

This week’s recipe: Chicken with Grilled Peaches and Arugula

What you need:

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 Tbs plus 1 tsp olive oil

Himalayan pink salt (or kosher salt) and black pepper, to taste

1 medium red onion, sliced in half

2 peaches, cut in half

1 container pre-washed baby arugula

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

2 oz blue cheese, broken into pieces

 

Why we like it:

Summer fruits are an amazing gift of nature. After last summer’s drought and short supply, we’ve been craving them. Fortunately, this summer’s crop is bountiful. Illinois and Michigan peaches are ripe for the picking right now. It doesn’t get better than this! Sure, you can enjoy them raw, but turn up the heat and throw them on the grill and they’re taken to a whole new level of delicious. All those naturally delicious sugars caramelize and become even more flavorful. And when paired with grilled meat and a flavorful green, that’s one weeknight summer meal we’ll be making again and again!

We know we took a week off, but surely you remember the cardinal rule of cooking with Sunset Foods? MISE EN PLACE! That’s right, even with an easy recipe, it helps to get organized first. Here’s what we need for this weeknight recipe, all found at your local Sunset Foods:

All of the ingredients laid out

Start by getting your grill ready. You’ll need to heat it to medium-high. Don’t own a grill? Never fear! A stovetop grill pan is your new best friend!

Brush the chicken with one teaspoon of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Slice your onion and peaches, and toss them together in a bowl with one teaspoon of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. As for the peaches, here’s a great step-by-step guide to removing the pit without damaging the beautiful fruit, a seemingly difficult task unless your peaches are super ripe. Tip: choose slightly underripe peaches as they will hold up better on the grill.

To cut the peaches in half, gently allow your knife to sink into the flesh until it touches the peach pit. Then roll your knife forward so it cuts a circle around the fruit. Gently, twist the two halves of the fruit in opposite directions, until they separate. One half will release from the pit, while the other still houses it. You can remove the pit easily and safely with a spoon. If very ripe, you should be able to easily pop the pit out by sliding the spoon underneath it. If your peaches are still young, it may take a little more muscle.

Preparing the peaches

Crying at the thought of working with raw onions? Here’s a handy tip to make slicing them painless – put the onion in the freezer before you work with it! Take the whole thing, and stick it in your freezer, skin on, for 15 minutes. Then take it out, peel it and slice as normal – except, no tears this time! If you leave the onion in too long, it will be difficult to remove the skin and cut it. So set a timer!

Slicing the peaches and red onion

Now it’s time to grill!

We’ll start with the chicken. You want to grill until its entirely cooked through. Best way to tell is if you have a meat thermometer. The chicken should register 165° F on an instant read thermometer to be done. Remove the cooked chicken from the grill and set aside to rest while you cook the fruits and veggies.

Grilling the chicken breasts

Now it’s time to grill your onions and peaches. The onions will take longer – about 5-6 minutes per side. You want a them to be nice and tender. The peaches will take about 4 minutes total to achieve nice char – read, caramelization and FLAVOR! When grilling them, you will want to keep them as far away from the flame as possible so as not to burn them. Rotate them 90° halfway through cooking to achieve pretty grill marks.

Grilling the peaches and onions

Once the onions and peaches are done cooking, toss them in a bowl with the arugula, balsamic vinegar and remaining olive oil. Top with the blue cheese, and serve alongside the chicken for an unforgettable summer weeknight meal!

Adding cheese and dressing to the arugula

Absolutely fabulous to look at – and we promise, your taste buds will be even more impressed! Bon appétit!

A plate of grilled chicken, peaches, and side salad

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