7.05.2014

Everything's Ginger Peachy

When I opened the package of loose peach tea (a tisane, actually), I couldn't imagine drinking it. I sat myself down and thought about what I would do with it.

A gift to some unsuspecting host or friend? Not nice. What would they do with it? So, I had to come up with a recipe.

When I told Mark I was thinking about using it in a marinade, he tilted his head, got his funny look on his face, and asked, "How?"

"Don't rush me," I replied. But with his question, this became a personal challenge. How would I make this into a marinade?

I have always liked the flavor combination of ginger and peach. I put grated ginger into my peach pies, ground ginger into the crusts of the same pies, and crystallized ginger into my peach preserves. So, why not pair some ginger with this loose tea and start there? And that is what I did.

Anyone who cooks as much as I do (many of you are out there nodding right now) know that this is how favorite recipes are born. You start with one ingredient, add another, pull some chicken breasts out of the freezer, check the cupboard and add a few more ingredients, and pretty soon you have a full blown dinner.

I put the tea in a bowl, added some olive oil, peach brandy, a lot of chopped ginger... I nuked it, tasted it and found it was lacking. It needed sweet, and it needed tart. I opted for honey and lime. I tasted it and, as a marinade, it worked.

But would it work its way into the chicken? It sure did. After 5 hours of marinating, I baked the chicken, then reduced the marinade for a sauce. The chicken was fully infused with my unorthodox tisane/marinade, and it was nice and moist. The sauce was not on my radar at first, but was the perfect accompaniment with some mashed potatoes.

So that, Mark, is how I am going to make this into a marinade.

~ David

Ginger-Peach Chicken

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons peach or apricot brandy
4 tablespoons loose peach tea *
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
juice of 1 lime (2 limes, if they aren't very juicy)
1 tablespoon honey
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves - about 8 ounces each
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon demi-glace concentrate

1/2 cup crème fraîche

Place the olive oil, brandy, peach tea, ginger, lime juice and honey in a microwave-safe dish large enough to fit the two chicken breast halves. Microwave at high power for 30 seconds; stir to blend and microwave again for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until just about to boil. Remove from the microwave and let cool to room temperature. Add chicken breasts and turn to coat. Let marinate for at least 4 hours, turning once.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Remove chicken from the marinade; place marinade in a saucepan. Scrape all tea and ginger bits from the chicken back into the marinade. Place chicken breasts on a lightly-oiled foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, add the red wine to the marinade and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by half. Strain and return the the sauce pan. Whisk in demi-glace and, when fully incorporated, add the crème fraîche. Remove from heat until ready to serve.

When chicken is done, let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Warm the plates and rewarm the sauce; whisk sauce well. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the sauce onto each of 4 plates. Slice chicken and divide among the plates in a fan on top of the sauce. Drizzle with remaining sauce. Served immediately.

* I used TeaVivre's Sweet Peach Fruit Tea, which contains roselle, apple, peach, orange peel, and chrysanthemum.

28 comments:

  1. Wow, Mark - you're so right! This is how so many great recipes are created. I love how you played with the flavors until you got them just right.

    And, you're right, John did cook his own birthday dinner. But I made his a wonderful coconut cake that I'll be posting soon. I hope you're enjoying a relaxing weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I am also glad you let John cook - I know he loved doing it, and I look forward to your cake. And please tell us what he made, too!

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  2. Dear David, this is how great recipes are created - the marinade with all its flavor components sounds very, very tempting. Personally, I am also a huge fan of combining ginger with peach - lime sounds wonderful in that too, to add some freshness- a very lovely summertime dinner that I would not mind sharing with you! And, yes, the sauce must be fabulosu with those mashed potatoes!
    Was für ein schönes Sommer-Essen!
    Ganz liebe Grüße aus dem sehr warmen Bonn und euch beiden noch einen schönen Sonntag,
    Andrea

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    1. Thanks so much, Andrea! It is fun to make up recipes like this using favorite ingredients. Auch Ich wünsche Dich einen schönen Sonntag!

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  3. This looks and sounds wonderful. I've never thought about using tea in a marinade, and as you've clearly illustrated, it can be an absolute success. The chicken looks plump and succulent and the sauce looks like a perfect condiment. I can almost smell and taste it from here. I love peach tea - and this ginger-peach chicken would be perfect followed by a long island. Love the 3rd photo - so pretty!

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    1. Dear Paedek (it feels funny calling you by the name of a fish sauce!) - I am so pleased you liked the third photo. It reminded me of stained glass. I think a Long Island tea might be lovely with this chicken!

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  4. Hi David, love how you worked these ingredients into a true masterpiece, the sauce sounds wonderful, this dish is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Cheri! I actually look forward to making it again!

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  5. We are 'cleaning' out the 'frig as we prepare to depart...Appy is wondering how many more 'salads' he will be eating! Now you've given me an excuse to defrost some of the last frozen bird pieces and marinate with ginger-peach! THANK YOU!! xoxo

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    1. Ah yes, cleaning out the fridge! That is another way lots of recipes are inspired! Good luck on the clean out, and I am glad I was able to inspire you, Susan!

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  6. I put ginger in my peach pie too. Love how you created this dish and I'm sure Mark was impressed. :D

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    1. Thanks, Karen. Mark loved it (especially as his favorite thing is chicken!) and we will make it again!

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  7. Half the fun of being in the kitchen is the experimentation. I think the first thing I'd use the tea for would be to use it in a smoking mix with rice and sugar. Now I'm thinking I need to use tea more in marinades! I expect Mark licked the plate?

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    1. Yes, John, both of us licked out plates clean! I am still trying to figure out if I can smoke things using a gas barbecue. If I figure it out, I may just take your idea and use some of the tea to smoke some chicken!

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  8. Yum! That looks and sounds delicious!
    I put chopped candied ginger in my rhubarb bran muffins.
    Ginger in any form is so delicious. I wonder if you could grow your own in Arizona? (ginger, that is :)

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    1. Caterina - I never thought to add ginger to my rhubarb muffins - great idea! I don't think we can grown ginger here - I think it requires much more humidity than we have. But it is definitely something I buy almost every week.

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  9. Brilliant! Love it. And those chicken breasts look incredibly moist, not dry at all. At a first glance I thought it was pork tenderloin. You just gave me ideas for some lovely tisanes I have sitting in the cupboard... I get inspired and buy them because they look so pretty but never make them becayse I actually really don't enjoy fruity teas and tisanes...

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    1. Thanks, Fiona - it was incredibly moist and tender. Not always the case with chicken breasts. Makes me wonder if it is the marinade or the timing on cooking. Guess I will have to try it again to see!

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  10. That is indeed a great way to marinade. But I am confused as to why you wouldn't consider drinking it as a tea? GREG

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    1. Ah, I can see the confusion, Greg. The answer? I am a man of few beverages... not that I don't drink a decent amount, it is just that I pretty much drink water, wine and cocoa... and, of course, the occasional savory cocktail.

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  11. Sheer genius! I love it, and it looks so juicy/tasty, too!

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    1. Thanks, Christina! It has taught me NOT to overcook my chicken breasts. :)

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  12. This has got to be the best use for fruit tea, EVER! It looks so delicious! Like you, I'm not a big tea drinker and I have a few 'gifted' boxes of tea rolling around in the cupboard. I've never thought of cooking with them, other than smoking some meat over tea in a wok. The marinade for this tender chicken recipe sounds even better! I love the additions of the ginger and brandy. I can imagine this would be incredibly warming. Great post David! And yep, I love it when recipes just come together when you're scrounging in the cupboard!

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    1. And here I have never thought of using tea to smoke anything in a wok! Thanks for the idea, Laura!

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  13. Peach tea!? What a brilliant idea to infuse flavour & moisture into the meat. I love it. I have got to try this. Looks so delicious.
    Hope your week has started smoothly. xo

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