Quite a while ago, for my 20th birthday, a little lady friend of mine (whom we’ll here on out refer to as Xi’an) gave me a cookbook called The Dinner Fix by well-know food network TV personality Sandi Richard. At this point, other than my experience at the Rose & Kettle Tearoom, I hadn’t done too much cooking, except in my trusty slow cooker. But I thought it was a lovely and useful gift (Xi’an definitely knew I was into the domestics) and so I set out to try a few of the recipes.
Almost three years later, I have made almost half of the recipes in the book. I started to cook a lot more when I began dating My Other Half that same year, so that’s when I really got on a cooking roll. The cookbook is very straightforward, has easy directions, and healthy alternatives, as well as nutritional information. It’s set out in separate weeks, with grocery lists and a meal to prepare for each night. It has great variety – fish, Asian, roasts, pastas, etc. Some of my very favourite and earliest creations stem from this cookbook.
I first tried this recipe a very very long time ago, for My Other Half. We both absolutely loved it. I then ventured home for a little vacation and made it for my family, and they loved it too. It’s so fool-proof. This is definitely something I’d make if I was entertaining.
Most of the time, I try not to make recipes I’ve already made unless there’s a good reason, like someone requested it, or it’s the perfect fit, or I have an ingredient to get rid of. This is one of those occasions. My Other Half has been travelling a lot lately (and completely kicking butt at work, I might add) and when he doesn’t take his truck with him, I get to have it. Huge novelty for me, seeing as he’s not normally up for my shopping expeditions and it gives me the opportunity to go to all the places I want to… and to take my time going down every single aisle, comparing prices, and making decisions.
So, like any smart domestic, my first stop was Costco. I could literally spend hours in there every weekend. They have the most fantastic stuff, and samples too! Anyway, at the end of my shopping, I was on a roll. I spotted what appeared to be some delicious-looking mango or peach applesauce in a really big jar (at least 1.5 litres). So I grabbed it. I love applesauce with different flavours like the ones Mama used to put in my lunch, so why not?
I get all my groceries home and start unloading the truck (which took two trips, I might add). I start putting things away and I notice something… the mango or peach applesauce is in fact peach and nectarine jam!!! WHAT am I going to do with that much peach jam??? Oh Lordy… anyway, I don’t lose too much sleep over it, since it was on sale for $3.29 or something like that. I got a good chuckle out of my impulse shopping, at least.
A few days later, it hit me. My trusty Peach Glazed Chicken recipe from the cookbook Xi’an gave me! That’s how I’ll use up the masses of peach jam I mistakenly bought!
This recipe isn’t fast (like the book leads you to believe) and there are a few steps, but it’s definitely worth it. Like I said before, it’d be excellent for entertaining. The chicken is moist, it’s got a hint of a kick, and the flavour is out of this world. Here it is:
- Cooking spray (I use Pam)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning (you could alternatively use paprika or another spice blend like Cajun)
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium onion
- 3/4 cup peach jam/marmalade (or apricot)
- 3/4 cup bbq sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Cooked white rice for 4 people
- Mix the flour, pepper and spices in a bowl. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Coat them in the flour-spice mixture. Spray a casserole dish (something with sides) with cooking spray (such as Pam) and bake the coated chicken at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Thinly slice onion and lay on top of chicken. Mix bbq sauce, soy sauce and peach jam. Pour over onion on top of chicken. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve over rice
- Adapted from Sandi Richard's The Dinner Fix
To make this meal complete, all you really need is a vegetable. I told My Other Half to be in charge of that part of the meal (since I’ve been away and haven’t gotten any groceries yet) and he brought over broccoli. As we’re waiting for the chicken to cook, he got the idea to try a cheese sauce for the broccoli. He got really adventurous and grated some cheddar into a pot of whipping cream, stirring constantly on low heat. It made a really simple and cheesy addition to our broccoli! Definitely something we’ll do again. Don’t you just love a guy who’s handy in the kitchen?
Yum! Just writing about it makes me want to eat that meal all over again. This cookbook truly is fantastic, and we only have my dear chum from my Alma Mater to thank for it. So, Xi’an – this blog entry is dedicated to you. Love!