Yesterday I was looking through the freezer, trying to get rid of inventory to make room for this seasons produce. I pulled out a package of chicken, but was still pretty unclear what I was going to do with it. As usual, if I procrastinate long enough the universe gets tired of waiting on me and forces a choice. That day it came in the form of peaches, 3 peaches to be exact that had to be used right then or tossed. They were mushy, but still very edible, yet I just did not want to eat 3 peaches.
I chopped them up and stuck them in a blender, thinking at first I might add some lemon juice to them, freeze it in portions and use it some morning as a smoothie base. But, wouldn't you know, I had no lemons. Instead I added a little vinegar, hoping the acid would hold the color and it might have worked but it started smelling more saucy than drinky, so I changed the peach plan.
Peach BBQ Sauce
3 very ripe peaches, cut in small chucks
1/2 small onion, diced and sautéed in bacon fat or olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (I would have used Worcestershire but I was out of the paleo stuff)
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (no substitution here for the hat and smoky flavor)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
shake of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 scant shakes of cinnamon
1 scant shake of allspice
(Statement of truth here: I am going to list instructions as I should have done them, not as I did. Because I had already pureed the peaches, I put everything else in the blender and pureed it. Then I put it in a sauce pan and cooked it and then had to blend it again. It would have been much simpler to cook everything first then blend just one time.)
In a small saucepan cook the onions in bacon fat or olive oil until they are wilted. I always have bacon fat in the freezer, so that is what I used and it did add a little smoky flavor to the onions. Add the chopped peaches and cook while stirring until the peaches have softened a little. Mash the peaches with a potato masher and add the vinegar and tomato paste. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is very soft and somewhat smooth (but it will still have some chunks in it). Add the Worcestershire or coconut aminos and the mustard and stir well. Toss in all the spices and seasonings and stir well. Pour into a blender and blend until it is smooth. I have a large blender, so I could leave the center piece out of the lid without food flying from it. If you can't, leave a little airspace at the side of the lid and do the pulse, stop, stir, pulse, stop stir thing until it is smooth. Blending something really hot in a sealed blender can be a disaster, since often it wants to spew out of the top and all over the kitchen. (Learn from my past mistakes so you don't have to make them. We call it "The Asparagus Soup Debacle")
To use simple skin the chicken and put the pieces skin side up in an oiled small baking dish. (8x8) Season the raw chicken with a little salt and pepper as desired since the sauce has very little salt. (Again I confess, I do not like a lot of salt.) Spoon the sauce over the chicken pieces and bake in a 350 degree oven until the chicken is ready. (I cooked 4 breasts and there was enough sauce for all the pieces) It cooked about 30 minutes, but the time will vary especially if you have some of those football size chicken breasts.
I served it with some asparagus, a simple lettuce and tomato salad and dinner rolls (And yes, I do know bread isn't paleo, but I am doing this paleo thing in steps. First thing to go was sugar, then beans, then dairy and grains are next) It was really delicious and especially good for a paleo dish. The chicken was moist and tender and the bbq sauce was terrific. Next time I plan on cooking this on the grill instead of in the oven. It should taste even better cooked that way. When I try it I will let you know!
The verdict was unanimous. It was a very delicious and different flavor, and much better than our standard boring chicken. It was so tasty, I plan to make several recipes while the peaches are in season and freeze them in individual portions to enjoy throughout the winter. I will add some lemon juice to the recipe to hold the color, but other than that I will do it as written. If you are looking for another way to eat chicken give this a try.
If you are not doing paleo you might try adding a tablespoon or so of honey or brown sugar before cooking the sauce. Other than the sweetness it would caramelize better, since the sugars in food are what give it that lovely caramel glaze. The peaches have natural sugar, but the additional sweetener would give it a little silkier richer texture and sheen.
Now it is about suppertime again and since I have nothing planned I guess I need to see what the universe has in store for tonight. Ciao!