Organic ingredients when possible, fresh herbs, antibiotic-free chicken, and freshly squeezed juices. It sounds great, right? But let’s not go crazy here. Do what you can, but in a pinch, grab a can. Fresh peaches aren’t in season, but we had a craving for a sweet lunch, so we went with frozen peaches that didn’t have any added sugar or liquid. (Note to self: Freeze some peaches this August!)
The orange juice was freshly squeezed, but the the unexpected star of the show today is malt vinegar. It’s one of our favorite vinegars, but it gets a low-class rap from the snooty foodies who thumb their noses at it’s presence next to the salt, pepper and ketchup in diners and truck stops. We disagree! Some of our favorite meals have been in diners, and malt vinegar is a staple in the UK, served with every fish and chips order. Those of us who are lucky enough to live near the Canadian border grew up with the British influence of splashing malt vinegar on french fries. (If you’ve never tried this, you must!) We like Sarson’s Malt Vinegar. It’s made in the UK from ale brewed from malted barley. It has a smoothness similar to balsamic vinegar, and has a sweet aftertaste. It’s definitely worth sending away for.
Brown up some chicken in 1 tsp. olive oil. Today we used chicken tenderloins. Mix up some allspice, cinnamon, and crushed, diced fresh basil (or use dried basil) with the vinegar and orange juice. We threw a few whole cloves into the mixture as well. Poured it over the chicken, covered the skillet, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until the chicken was cooked throughout. Then tossed in the peaches, covered the skillet again, and gave them about 2 minutes to warm up.
We served it over red chard and mâche (pronounced “mosh”) for an earthier flavor, and sprinkled a little goat cheese on top. These sturdy greens stand up to the sweet and savory aspects of this dish.
This is definitely a make-again lunch!
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup malt vinegar
- 1 tsp brown sugar, packed
- 6 whole cloves
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 2 medium fresh or frozen peaches
- 2 cups red chard lettuce
- 2 cups mâche lettuce
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- Brown chicken tenderloins in a skillet with 1 tsp. olive oil.
- Mix together: brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, orange juice, and malt vinegar. Pour over cooked chicken, cover, and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until chicken is thoroughly cooked to 165º.
- Serve over a mix of red chard and mâche lettuces. Spoon a little of the cooking liquid on top.