Peach Bacon Chicken
I would love to say that this recipe came to me one night in a dream. Or that I feel in love with it at a fancy restaurant and had to recreate it. But reality is that this came from having all of the ingredients in my freezer. Sometimes when you are trying to save money or just getting low on food in the fridge, you have to make meals out of what is in the freezer. And this ladies and gentleman is where this recipe was born.
I always try to have meats, veggies and fruit stocked up in my freezer so I can use them when they are needed. For this recipe I used frozen peaches for two reasons. 1) Yes, I love peaches and they are always in my freezer. 2) Peaches have a short season and by using frozen peaches you never have to worry about only making the recipe at certain times of the year. The sweetness from the peaches and the yummy saltiness from the bacon is the perfect pairing for chicken. I used chicken strips as my meat of choice, because that is what I had on hand. But this would be great on drumsticks, thighs, or even pork chops. Use what you have!
Peach Bacon Chicken
Oven Temp: 325F
1 bag Frozen Peaches
1 tbsp Balsamic Glaze (or Balsamic Vinegar)
1 tsp Cajun Seasoning
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
3/4 pound Bacon
8 Chicken Breast Tenders
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
2tbs Olive Oil
The day before you make this recipe: Take the bag of peaches out of the freezer and place it the refrigerator for 4 hours. Once the peaches have softened, take half the bag of peaches and place in a blender. Add the Balsamic, Cajun Seasoning, Salt and Pepper to the blender. Blend all together until it is a smooth thick consistency. Take your chicken, and place in a Ziploc bag. Pour the puree mix into the Ziplocs with the chicken and move the bag around to make sure all of the meat is coated. Place in the fridge until the next day when you are ready to cook. The longer the meat marinades in the sauce the better, trust me.
Turn your oven onto 325F. Cut your bacon into large chunks. Take the other half of the bag of peaches and cut into chunks. Place both onto a lined baking sheet and rub the brown sugar onto them. Scatter a thin layer of the bacon and peaches on your sheet and place into the center of your oven for 25 mins. At 25 mins take your tray out and move around the bacon and peaches and place back into the over for another 10 mins. By cooking the bacon peach mixture slowly on a lower temperature, it will really make all the sugars crystallize and sweeten the recipe without anything burning. Once the bacon is the crispy golden brown, take the mixture out and put on a paper towel lined plate to absorb the oil.
Place a large skillet on your stove and turn the burner to a medium low heat (I start at 4). Add the oil and wait till the oil has warmed up. Take your bag of chicken and sauce that was in the fridge and pour the whole bag into the hot skillet. I do about 6 mins on each side for the chicken. These were skinnier pieces so they did not need to cook too long. When the chicken is cooked add your peach and bacon mixture to the pan so they can all sauté together. Then when you are ready, plate up and eat!
Freezer Tips: I placed two serving of the chicken in a Tupperware into the freezer for next time this sweet and salty craving hit.