Far from simple, these citrus grilled chicken tacos are dressed with pickled peaches and fresh cilantro. I know it might sound weird but one bite and you’ll think otherwise. Pickled peaches are sweet with the perfect bite of tang and spice.
It started innocently enough. My dear friend Liza, and bone fide bad ass, and I planned our annual day to can some boozy peaches and a extra large batch of dilly green beans as they’ve become our go for garnishing bloody mary’s. I know we sound like lushes but for the most part we’re not. We just happen to like booze in our canned goods and canned goods in our booze.
We always plan our day of canning on a Thursday so we can visit our local farmers market on Wednesday to pick up what looks best and then get it in jars as fast as we can. (No pun intended.) Last week as we walking to our car, bogged down with 6+ lbs of green beans and a heaping case of peaches, we were stopped by a woman who’s husband overheard Liza and I talking about canning. As polite as polite can be, she started to ask us questions about the canning process, where should buy a canning kit, what she should start with etc. Before you know it, I invited her back to my house the next day and told her to come with peaches, a notebook and a t-shirt she didn’t mind getting dirty. At promptly 11 o’clock the next day, Susan (said woman who stopped us in the parking lot), showed up ready to roll. I don’t often invite strangers into my house but she seemed eager to learn how to can and who I am to deny that? Plus Liza and I thought we could take her if things got nasty. (Kidding. Mostly.)
Only problem was, Susan’s peaches weren’t ripe. She’d bought a case, not actually feeling or tasting them, taking a recommendation from the teenage girl working the booth. (Lesson #1- taste before you buy.) Long story short, Liza and I had plenty of ripe peaches to share with Susan so canned those and then opted to split her underripe peaches amongst the three of us to lay on our counter to ripen and then use them on our own we they were ready. When we were cleaning up from our day of canning, I had a little bit of dilly bean brine left over. On a whim I decided to dice up two of the slightly under ripe peaches and pour the brine over. LIFE CHANGING. For real, folks, these are out of this world. My hankering for the sweet-savory combo lives on.
The peaches are the perfect garnish to the citrus grilled chicken. These look simple but are so full of flavor it’s insane. Even though we ended up a boat load of under ripe peaches, it all worked out in the end. Susan is now on her way to becoming a preserving maven and Liza and I are one step closer for a pantry full of canned love for the winter.
Happy Monday, everyone!!
- 2 peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
- pinch dill seeds
- pinch cayenne pepper (or more if you want them extra spicy)
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 heaping teaspoon pickling salt
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 whole garlic cloves, minced
- 1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- corn tortillas
- cilantro for garnish
- Place the diced peaches, garlic clove, dill seed and cayenne in a quart size mason jar.
- Make the brine by combining vinegar, water and pickling salt in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-high heat until barely simmering. Remove brine from heat and pour over peaches. Let sit on the counter until it cools off and then place peaches in fridge until ready to use. *PEACHES ARE BEST MADE A DAY OR TWO IN ADVANCE.
- Place chicken breasts in a large ziplock baggie or glass container with tight fitting lid. Add zest and juice of the lemon, lime and orange. Add minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Wearing plastic gloves, mixed the chicken into the marinade until it's thoroughly combined. Chicken can marinate up to 6 hours but let it sit at least 1 hour before grilling.
- When ready to grill, heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Turn the heat back to medium and place chicken on the grill and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes per side until throughly cooked through. Remove chicken from grill and let cool 5 minutes before cutting.
- Place warm chicken in a corn tortilla. Top with desired amount of pickled peaches and garnish with fresh cilantro.
The pickles need to be made 2 days in advance and the chicken tastes best when it marinates for at least 2-3 hours so plan ahead!!