Main Course, Poultry

Basil-Peach Chicken

2 Comments 15 June 2012

Must admit up front – this recipe confused me a little. It seemed good, though, for an easy recipe – and therefore a quick one – and it was different. In a good way. We adore basil in Casa de Full Fork Ahead and we love peaches. And who doesn’t want to find another new way to enjoy chicken? It seemed like a no-brainer.

Basil-Peach Chicken 9

I do wonder if I’ll be able to get my husband to try this recipe. He has flashbacks of his mother – who is all things wonderful – cooking dinners with fruit in them and his dad being manly-resistant to them. Fruit in my dinner?! The nerve!

Oh the menz, they make me giggle.

Basil-Peach Chicken 8

There’s very little prep work, and combined with relatively little cooking that requires you to be in motion, this is a very, very easy dish. Go ahead and do a dork-ish dance, this one calls for such excitement.

Basil-Peach Chicken 7

Browning chicken, people! That and a little sauteing of the shallots and garlic is all the active cooking time required. At this rate, if anyone is complaining about fruit in their chicken dinner, you need to tell them to go forage in the yard, because the ease of this recipe is making your life more relaxed. And that’s just that.

Basil-Peach Chicken 6

After all the active cooking is done, pile all the goodness together in the pan – which is oven safe. Your pan is oven safe right? RIGHT?

Now listen, people, for the love of non-cooked human flesh, please remember when you take said pan out of your oven, remember after about ten minutes that it is flaming hot. I burned my hand one time, forgetting this very thing. And you know what? I burned my hand again on the very same pan when we made this chicken.

What can I say – it was a bad day all around. The bright side is it wasn’t nearly as bad a burn as the first time I did it. So another piece of advice, don’t cook with the oven if you’re really tired. I get forgetful when I’m tired. And I touch hot pans with my bare hand. Sigh.

Basil-Peach Chicken 5

The thing that confused me about the recipe is that there’s chicken broth in the pan when you go to stick it in the oven. I guess I assumed this was mostly to help keep the chicken moist while it finished up there, and that it would mostly evaporate. This was not the case. Was it supposed to be a sauce? Turned out that, yes, yes it was. I didn’t realize because the recipe doesn’t say to serve it with the dish, and honestly? In my house, serving a runny sauce is a huge no-no. My husband – again – he wouldn’t like that at all. I realize that this recipe is trying to be healthier, and I have no problem leaving it the way it is, with some exceptions I’ve noted below. But I’ll have to change this up and thicken the sauce if hubby will deign to eat fruit with his dinner.

Other than those issues, this was a good one for us. The peaches cook down just enough and the basil is a great addition, though I’d use more next time to punch up that flavor. It’s very simple and quick to make and it’s actually pretty refreshing for our intro into what is sure to be another Long Hot Summer. So, another way to look at peaches and also chicken! Hope you enjoy.

Basil-Peach Chicken

from Southern Living, June 2012

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook time:about 30 minutes    Level: Easy    Makes: 8

  • 4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 2 lb.)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 4 large peaches, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)
  • Garnish: fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350°. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook chicken in hot oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet, reserving drippings in skillet.

Reduce heat to medium. Add shallot to hot drippings in skillet, and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add basil, chicken broth, and peaches. Return chicken to skillet, and turn to coat. Season with a little more salt and pepper (optional).

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve with rice or couscous and spoon sauce over.


I would add another whole 12 leaves of basil. If we’re being honest here, it gets a little lost in the dish as is.

Our chicken breasts were probably a little too thick. Next time I might cut them in half.

I wanted to season it all up a little more somehow after tasting it. It’s a tad on the bland side, tasty enough but just enough that I wished for a little more flavor. Our peaches were a little under-ripe and that could have had something to do with it, although they were still nicely sweet. Also, browning the chicken a little more might help to add some flavor. I might also try covering the pan with some foil so that the moisture in the pan can help moisten the chicken more next time.

We needed about 25 minutes for our chicken to be completely done.

If I was to try and thicken the sauce after everything else was cooked and removed from pan, I’d mix in a bit of diluted corn starch and a splash only of whole milk or cream to give the sauce a little more body over medium-high heat on the stove top, stirring till simmering and thickened. I’d also season a tad more with salt and pepper.

Oh hey – we didn’t peel our peaches. 1. we just didn’t wanna, also known as, maybe, the lazies, and 2. why bother when the skin is perfectly edible? Cooked down you don’t really notice it anyway. But do peel if the idea is unappealing to you.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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