Inspiration From Unlikely Sources

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People ask me all the time where I get ideas for what to make for dinner.

Inspiration comes from far and wide. From other bloggers and food websites, to meals I’ve had on vacation, and what’s on sale at the grocery store or in season at the Farmers’ Market at the moment.

Sometimes the best inspiration comes from the most unlikely of sources…like the back of a vinegar bottle, for instance.

Vinegar

Really! See, while Ben was busy dousing his fish & chips with malt vinegar at an Irish Pub in the NY NY Hotel this Spring in Vegas, I caught a glimpse of the back of the vinegar bottle.

Peachy Chicken, it read. Intrigued, I tried to catch a glimpse of the recipe as he shook the bottle up and down, up and down, over and over and over! (Ben likes vinegar. :) ) Give that to me! I exclaimed, as I pried the vinegar bottle from his sour death grip!

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Peachy Chicken, I thought, hmmmm, I’m intrigued… I like peaches, I like chicken – I bet I would really like Peachy Chicken! Wait…there’s canned peach liquid in this recipe. I might as well pour corn syrup straight down my throat. Gross. Ew, plus orange juice concentrate. More sugar! Ben hates sweet chicken too. What to do, what to do…

(insert taking snapshot of the back of the bottle here.)

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Eh, I’ll figure this out later. I’m in Vegas and this Jeremiah Weed isn’t going to drink itself. Yhatzee!

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Well almost 4 months later, I’ve finally “figured it out” and made a healthier version of the recipe on the back of the Vegas vinegar bottle – Savory Peach Chicken!

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This was better than I ever imagined, and not anywhere near as sweet as “Peachy Chicken” would have been.

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It might be my new favorite whole chicken breast recipe, actually (a title previously held by Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken!) plus Ben loved it too!

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I started by pounding a couple Just Bare Chicken Breasts until they were a uniform thickness.

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Next I seasoned them with salt & pepper. Tip: I tend to have a wild hand with spices – ie they go everywhere when I use them – so I like to spice my meat/veggies/etc in the sink. That way I don’t need to wipe down dirty countertops, I can just rinse the rogue spices down the drain!

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Next I seared the chicken breasts in a wee bit of extra virgin olive oil, until they were golden brown on one side.

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Then I flipped and did the same on the other side. I didn’t cook the chicken all the way through – just gave it some color.

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(PS I am this excited about the new splatter shield I picked up at the grocery store a couple weeks ago. It was like, $3 and works like a charm! :D )

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After the chicken breasts were browned on both sides, I removed them to a plate, and aside for the time being. Then I made a delectable sauce for the dish, made up of brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh orange juice and chicken broth,

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and sliced up two juicy organic peaches. Oooo, I wanted a slice so bad! ;)

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Next, I quickly sautéed some microplaned ginger and garlic in the hot skillet, before adding the sauce and peaches in.

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See? :)

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The peaches and sauce got soft and reduced for a bit, before I nestled the chicken back in the pan,

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and popped the lid on top.

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5 minutes later we were ready to rock!

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Luscious, elegant, savory and just a hint of sweet. Spectacular!

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I was afraid the peaches would be mealy or mushy as they cooked down – instead they turned velvety and practically melted in my mouth after poaching in the savory soy sauce and chicken broth for just over 10 minutes.

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Savory Peach Chicken

Print this recipe!

Measurements adapted from Ellie Krieger

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness

salt & pepper

1″ knob fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced

2 organic peaches, sliced thin

Directions:

1. Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, orange juice and chicken broth in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Preheat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper, then place in the hot skillet. Cook until golden brown on one side, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, ~4 minutes total. Chicken will not be cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside.

3. Add ginger and garlic to the hot pan and stir constantly for no more than 10 seconds. Add the brown sugar/chicken broth mixture and sliced peaches to the pan, and increase heat to high. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring once or twice, until sauce has thickened and peaches start to become soft.

4. Nestle chicken back into the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, place a lid on top and cook for 5 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve on top of brown rice cooked in chicken broth.

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When inspiration strikes – find a way to make it work for you!

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Lately, as you know, inspiration has also been coming fast and hard from Pinterest. Today I found a recipe so enticing that I nearly came home at lunch to make them. No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies!!!

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Healthy(ish) and EASY, No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies, to boot! All you do is process 1 cup of almonds in a food processor until finely ground.

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Add in 1 cup chopped medjool dates, a pinch of salt,

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1/2 cup peanut butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract,

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then whir ’til everything comes together.

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Shape into balls,

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then give them that signature criss-

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cross-

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shape! :D

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Whole Family Fare REALLY did it with this one!

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They taste exactly like peanut butter cookie dough – I swear to you! Go make some right now and see for yourself! :D

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Wooo – inspiration is a fabulous thing indeed. I am stuffed and sooo satisfied tonight!

The evening is cooling down so Ben and I are going to go on a nice long walk. Our summer days are numbered, so we’re tying to make the most of ‘em.

Have a wonderful night!

~~~~~

Who/what inspires you? In cooking/life/whatever!


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