Yesterday I had a food flashback. I was transported to 2000 when Steve and I lived in our tiny shoebox apartment– I swear our entire place could easily fit into my classroom. But it was cute. The kitchen had light green tile with a dark green tile border, and there was light yellow tile in the shower. It had some built-in bookcases and a funky knick-knack rack that divided the kitchen from the living room and ad hoc dining room. The real dining area was used as Steve’s office. The place also came with guys who sniffed paint in the alley, a resident who let the local prostitute “Octavia” into our laundry room to do her business (no pun intended), a halfway house next door that housed a man who constantly commented on my groceries, and a completely bat-____ crazy neighbor upstairs who blocked my car in with hers when I parked in “her” spot. It was cute, nonetheless. It wasn’t until the flying termites made their exodus out of our woodwork that we decided to move (I never imagined that I would use Raid and a vacuum cleaner at the same time).
Now let me flashback to my flashback: One night I made Cooking Light’s Roasted Chicken, Red Onions, and Peaches. It was really good. For some reason I have not made it in the last 12 years until I remembered it yesterday. I still have the recipe and it became tonight’s dinner. It is delicious and healthy.
Step One: Peaches
4 large peaches
1 tbsp. sugar
Cut an “X” on the bottom of each peach, carefully cutting just through the skin. Fill a large Dutch oven (or any large pot) with water and bring it to a boil. Immerse the peaches into the boiling water for 20 seconds; remove with slotted spoon and plunge into ice water.
Let them hang out in the ice water for a couple of minutes. This will really loosen the skin and make it easier for it to come off. Slip skins off of peaches using a paring knife. Cut in half; remove pits.
Place peaches in a large bowl; cover and chill.
Step Two: The Chicken and Onions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned (I used boneless, so I reduced most of the cooking times by half, except for the last 10 minutes that include the peaches)
2 large red onions, each cut into 8 wedges (wearing swim goggles does wonders in preventing onion-eye-burn)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. molasses (also good drizzled over hot popcorn)
1 tsp. dried thyme (make sure you have thyme!)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
Combine chicken and onions in a 13×9 baking dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil; toss chicken gently to coat. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes (I did 15 for boneless).
Combine the rest of the ingredients; drizzle over chicken, turning to coat. Bake chicken for an additional 20 minutes (I did 10). Add peaches to chicken mixture in dish, basting with cooking liquid. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is done. (I kept it in there for 10 to cook the peaches. The chicken was done, but it’s pretty hard to mess up thighs.)
I served this with Israeli couscous and green beans (Green Giant Steamers). Israeli couscous is much bigger than regular couscous and just more fun to eat.
I heated a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in a non-stick pot and added one cup of couscous. Stir it around until it gets toasty. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 8-12 minutes. After 8 minutes you may want to give it a gentle stir to bring up the couscous on the bottom– it will stick to the pan. I drizzled some fresh lemon juice into it, gave it a stir, and voila!
The next time I make it, I may use chicken broth instead of water to give it a deeper flavor and add dried thyme, but the addition of lemon worked well.
Steve contributed a Solitude chardonnay to accompany dinner and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Can’t beat that!
You can find the recipe at Cooking Light: Annual Recipes 2000. Oxmoor House: Birmingham, AL, 1999. Print.