Thursday, 30 July 2015 | 20 comments

Roasted chicken thighs with green peaches, ginger, & summer herbs

Here is how a weeknight dinner party goes. First, you plan it, a few weeks in advance. It will be a nice small get-together to say farewell to your friend who’s moving away. Then, it will sneak up on you.

As your husband drops you off at the train on the morning of your dinner, you will ask him, “Did you invite Daniel?” No, he forgot. (Or at least you think that’s what he means, because your husband is not a morning person and doesn’t really speak until around 9 AM.) Oh well. “Maybe you can text him.”

On the train into work, you will first check your emails to make sure there are no fires to put out. Then you will meal plan.

You mentally catalogue what you have at the house. (Not much. Chicken thighs in the freezer. Lots of herbs in the garden. Pantry staples.)

You calculate the amount of time you will have between arriving home and when you told people to arrive. One half hour. Oh god.

You think about whether your house needs cleaning. Not only does it need cleaning—badly—but you decided to start ripping up the kitchen floor last week. Why did you do that?

At lunch, you sneak out to the grocery store a few blocks away to buy some peaches. They are firm. Well, okay, they’re really hard and underripe. You stash them under your desk.

At the end of the day, you pack up your things and get ready to jump on the train that will take you home in time to host your friends. You make it two blocks before you realize you left the peaches under your desk. Turning on your heel, you smack into a man in a powersuit. You have to run, but you catch the train.

When you get home, you dump together chicken thighs, the underripe peaches, some chopped ginger, fistfuls of torn basil and mint, oil and sherry and salt. It goes into a hot oven and you escape to drink a beer on the patio.

Your friends arrive. They are public high school teachers and software guys and gardeners and canvassers. They are gorgeous. You hug them.

You eat.

Roasted chicken thighs with green summer fruit, ginger, and herbs

I should probably rename this blog, “Recipes shamelessly and barely adapted from Melissa Clark, Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer, and Deborah Madison”. But it’s just not as catchy.

This recipe, from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite, is simple and SO good. It is my new favorite summer one-pan dinner. The green tomato version is a little more herbal, the peach and plum versions are sweet and crowd-pleasing. It yields a lot of thin pan juices, which are possibly the best part, so serve with lots of crusty bread or rice.

You’ll need

  1. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (although I have made this dish with bone-in as well)
  2. Kosher salt
  3. 1/2 pound green/hard peaches, plums, or tomatoes
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 inch-long piece of ginger root, peeled and minced (or grated)
  8. Freshly ground black pepper
  9. 2 tablespoons (or more to taste–I like a lot of herbs) chopped fresh summer herbs, such as basil, mint, or parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the chicken thighs on a sheet pan or in a baking dish, and salt them thoroughly with kosher salt (about a teaspoon of salt per pound of meat). Set aside.
  3. Halve the fruit, remove pits or core, and slice into 1/2 inch wedges.
  4. Toss chicken with fruit and all remaining ingredients, reserving 1 tablespoon chopped herbs.
  5. Roast in preheated oven until chicken is cooked through and fruit has softened, about 20-30 minutes. Garnish with remaining herbs and serve immediately.

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§ 20 responses to Roasted chicken thighs with green peaches, ginger, & summer herbs

  • Ha! I’ve been in this position so many times–the frantic pre-dinner party rush, the person my other half forgot to invite, the wave of worry that gives way to a perfect evening (this was even once the case when my pilot light decided to magically go out several hours before a gathering of friends). Such is simply the way of the dinner party, I think.

    As for this chicken recipe, I’m a big fan; I’ve made it before, once with peaches and once with mango. The latter makes a fine and tasty substitute if you ever find yourself in a pinch and with a few stray mangoes around.

    • Katy, I was just wondering, “So will this work with mangoes / green mangoes” and was so glad to find your comment. My neighborhood is the mango capital of Honolulu and at this point in the summer they are falling everywhere, I can’t avoid running them over with my car when driving down my street, the neighbor’s trees fling more into my yard when the trade winds pick up. Happy to find another way to use them – and one that’s not sweet!

      • Also, I just read some of your blog – I’m liking it!

        • Thank you, Leslie! And happy to share the tip about mangoes! Quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind being in your position–the mango capital of Honolulu–although it’s crazy to think that you’re running them over with your car…

          • Amy

            Thanks to Leslie’s comment, I’m also checking out your blog. I love the recent post about summer and your upcoming move to DE, it’s a nice reminder of the good qualities here when the Mid Atlantic heat and humidity can seem so oppressive.

  • Patricia

    The recipe sounds great and I’ve noticed lots of half ripe peaches at the fresh markets. Now would be a good time to try it. The big question is did Daniel get invited?

  • Dee

    And you write a blog post about it, too :) You did pretty well, I’d say.

  • Amy

    So glad I checked your blog today because a pack of chicken thighs are defrosting in my fridge right now.

  • Lovely! Last time we had folks over (including some little kids with an early bedtime), we did TONS of prep in advance, and then decided to use our new ceramic charcoal grill which we didn’t really know how to work… so out the window went all that prep time. Ended up eating as late as if we’d started from scratch at 5:30 PM! Ha. Not to mention burning the bottom of the tarte crust because direct heat from a BBQ is evidently mighty strong. Oh well! It’s all a learning process + all was delicious and enjoyed in the end. Did my best to follow Child’s advice and “not apologize.”

  • I agree with those who said the chicken is sour. The sauce turned out to be delicious after I added approximately 3 Tbsp honey, some extra garlic powder, and some crushed red pepper and let it cook on med-low heat for another 1/2 hour. I cooked the sauce in the crock pot for 4 hours, and then the stove top for 2 hours before it did finally reduce to a glaze. The chicken seemed to absorb too much of the vinegar flavor for my liking, and didn’t taste enough like the delicious glaze I had at the end of the process. Next time, I will try cooking the chicken separately, and will then throw it into the sauce at the end. 

    • Hi Catrin—a little confused because this recipe has no vinegar in it, and no one else seemed to think it turned out sour :) Perhaps this comment was meant for another recipe? Let me know how I can help! –S

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