Sticky chicken with help from ripe fresh peach and peach ale. Screams summer and comes together in a flash.
You Will Need:
- Chicken thighs. Flavorful dark meat that will not dry out. Much better results than if you used chicken breast. You will trim the fat and slice it into bite-sized bits.
- Olive oil. To toss the chicken pieces in before a short stint in the oven.
- Salt & pepper. To season the chicken.
- Peach ale. Use a low to non-detectable bitterness peach flavored ale such as saison or kolsch. See below for more information substitute option.
- Garlic. Use fresh cloves, finely minced.
- Soy sauce. To add umami and saltiness.
- Fresh peach. Choose a large, ripe fruit – you are after the juicy, flavorful flesh, see below for more details. You will need to peel and grate the fruit.
- Honey. For its complex sweetness and to help create the ‘stickiness’ of the dish.
- Slurry. Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tbsp of cold water. This will help thicken the sauce.
- Green onions + tarragon. To garnish the dish.
What is the Role of the Peach Ale?
Adding a flavorful liquid beats plain water and adding peach flavored, low bitterness beer such as saison contributes quite an array of complex flavors. Chicken meat generally tastes great when marinated with beer or otherwise cooked with beer. The beer imparts pleasant malty and herbal notes and a delightful tartness if lacto fermented.
To that end we recommend peach flavored ales including sours such as peach gose.
If you cannot find peach ale, use peach juice but your dish will taste a bit sweeter and will lose the delicate sweet & sour notes a peach ale brings about (all beer is acidic, some styles much more so than others).
Why Grated Peach?
Even though the peach ale infuses the sauce with flavor, don’t even think about omitting the grated peach. You need it (plus you know what they say about sins of omission:).
Not only does the ripe fruit bring a fresh, distinct peach essence but the naturally occurring pectin in the flesh plays a key part in thickening the sauce.
So do the slurry and the honey but the pectin definitely makes an important contribution in creating the stickiness.
How to Make Peach Sticky Chicken
Handle the chicken first.
- Trim the fat from the chicken thighs and cut them into small pieces.
- Toss the with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread them over a parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. You will finish cooking it in the saute pan with the sauce.
While the chicken is in the oven get going with sticky peach sauce.
- In a cold pan pour the peach ale an bring it to simmer. Then add the minced garlic and soy sauce and let simmer to reduce.
- Add the grated peach and the honey, stir and reduce for a few more minutes.
- Mix a slurry, stir into the sauce an add the chicken pieces (they should be done at this point).
- Simmer for a few more minutes to let the sauce become sticky and the chicken to absorb it and cook through. Serve garnished with chopped green onions and tarragon.
- Serve as an entree – peach ale and peach sticky chicken is great served over rice or thin rice noodles such as vermicelli.
- Serve as a shared appetizer – present the chicken in a bowl along with a bunch of crispy wantons on the side. A spoonful of the delicious sticky chicken on top of wanton becomes a delightful finger food type appetizer!
- 8 boneless, trimmed chicken thighs
- 1 tbps olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 oz peach ale (peach saison or kolsch recommended) or substitute with peach juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 peach, peeled, flesh grated
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp cold water, mixed, for a slurry
- 2 green onions, finely chopped for garnish and/or a tarragon sprig
- Turn the oven on to 350 F. Trim the fat from the chicken thighs and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Toss the chicken pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread them over a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes.
- While the chicken is in the oven pour the ale (or juice) into a large, deep sauce pan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and soy sauce, stir and let simmer to reduce - about 6 minutes.
- Add the grated peach and the honey, stir and let reduce again, about 4-5 more minutes.
- Make a slurry by combining 1 tbsp corn starch and 2 tbsp cold water. Take the chicken pieces out of the oven. Add the slurry to the sauce, stir, add the chicken, stir.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the chicken simmer in the sauce while it thickens and becomes sticky. Serve garnished with chopped green onions and tarragon.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 759mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 23gProtein: 64g