Chicken with Peaches, Basil, and Tomatoes
Summertime in the South brings with it two of our favorite things: peaches and tomatoes. While I still don’t love biting into a whole tomato as much as I do a whole peach, I do love both of these fruits in so many preparations, and together they add a lovely sweet flavor to the chicken. Served over peppery arugula, this makes for a great weeknight meal in a flash. This recipe was inspired by a similar dish from Virginia Willis’s James Beard Award–winning book, Lighten Up, Y’all. -JulieSERVES: 6-8 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES
1 tablespoon fat (coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee)1½ to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs1 teaspoon salt½ teaspoon black pepper1 shallot, sliced2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger3 peaches, pitted and sliced2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges1 cup chicken stock, store-bought or homemade 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil6 to 8 ounces arugula
Heat a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat and add the fat (see Note). While the fat is heating, season the chicken with the salt and pepper. When the fat is hot and shimmering (not smoking), add the chicken and sear, undisturbed, on the first side until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to the pan. Sauté until slightly softened, then mix in the garlic and ginger and sauté a minute more.Stir in the peaches, tomatoes, chicken stock, and 1 tablespoon of the basil. Return the chicken to the pan, spooning some of the juices over the chicken.Cover and simmer the chicken until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.Serve over the arugula, with the sauce poured over like a dressing, and garnish with the remaining basil.NOTE: You can cook this entire dish from start to finish in the oven (400°F for 15 to 20 minutes), but we prefer the flavor of the sautéed shallots and browned exterior of the chicken. You can also cook on the stovetop through step 3, then put the entire pan in a 350°F oven in step 4 and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.