Fresh summer peaches may be on their way out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them all year long in this easy, delicious and super healthy 30 Minute Peach and Chicken Skillet with Pearl Onions.
Last month I was lucky enough to attend Pacific Coast Producers Heart of California Orchard & Field Tour along with a handful of other amazing bloggers and nutritionists. Over the course of three days I learned about the process of canning fruits and vegetables and how, despite its poor reputation, it is one of the best ways to store and consume food.
When I arrived my biggest question was, “well aren’t fresh (aka ‘raw’) vegetables best?” It was explained that unless I am picking vegetables from my very own garden, nearly all of the fruit and vegetables I purchase in the store is not exactly “fresh”. In fact, much of it was picked before it was even ripe. It was then packaged, shipped, flown in an airplane, unloaded onto a truck, transported to the market where it sat, waiting to be purchased. All this “fresh” produce is a big problem (don’t hate me for saying it, it’s simply the truth).
Approximately 15-20% of fresh fruits and vegetables are thrown away each year (although I have heard it is much much higher).
Here’s a video to put it in perspective…
Now, I am a BIG fan of going to the grocery store and stocking my refrigerator with produce. After years of practice (and using up leftovers in recipes like this BBQ Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Kale and Vegetarian Kitchen Sink Tacos with Tempeh), I can confidently say that I have mastered the art of not allowing fruits and vegetables to be thrown away (except for a few things like parsley or chives). But, it wasn’t always this way and I will be the first one to admit that I have tossed a lot of perfectly delicious food in the bin over my lifetime.
Will I stop buying fresh tomatoes or peaches or apples? No.
HOWEVER, thanks to the three days learning about canning and observing the canning process, I am far more inclined to eat more canned goods. One example- I previously thought that in order to make “fresh” homemade tomato sauce I had to use “fresh” tomatoes. In my mind, using a can of crushed tomatoes or whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes was cheating.
Why is this wrong? Canned fruit and vegetables are just as fresh, if not FRESHER than their counterparts you will pick up from the market.
How is this possible?
Here’s the thing, you guys, fruits and vegetables are picked, transported and processed from field to can in less than 4-5 hours. No day-long journeys, no processing before they are ripe. They are picked at peak freshness and canned. It really is that simple.
- Studies conducted by researchers at Michigan State University, UC Davis and Oregon State University have all concluded that canned foods have similar (or better) nutritional profiles as their fresh or frozen counterparts.
- Canned tomatoes have more lycopene, which is associated in reducing cancer risk, and more B vitamins.
- Canned vegetables do NOT lose their nutritional value the longer they are stored. Instead, the vitamins and nutrients are locked in, keeping it the same as they day they were canned. On the flip side, fresh produce loses nutritional value day by day.
- Canned vegetables cost less and are more convenient.
But what about the cans? Doesn’t that produce a lot of waste?
- Steel cans are 100% recyclable. One more time…steel cans are 100% recyclable!!! This means that they can be used and recycled over and over and over again, FOREVER.
- New cans produced with recycled steel reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75%.
- 80-90% of all steel ever produced is still in use today.
- 7 steel cans can power a 60 WATT lightbulb for 26 hours just from recycling.
- Cans make food safer to eat with 100% contamination protection.
- AND…food that is canned is food that IS NOT WASTED.
So, to show you guys that you can still eat healthy while enjoying fresh, juicy peaches (from a can!!!) I made this super easy Peach and Chicken Skillet. Sweet peaches, savory rosemary and spicy onions (with a splash of wine, of course!) make this dish a magical flavor combination. Plus, you can have fresh, summery peaches all year round!
And, it takes just 30 minutes. PLUS! This beautiful Peach and Chicken Skillet is made in a single skillet.
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30 MINUTE PEACH AND CHICKEN SKILLET WITH PEARL ONIONS
- 1.75 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts - about 4
- Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 yellow onion - diced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 10 oz pearl onions - 1 bag
- 30 oz sliced peaches in extra light syrup - 2 cans, drained with juices reserved (!!!)
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt + pepper - to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and dried rosemary. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and golden brown (time will vary depending on thickness of your chicken breasts).
- Meanwhile, as the chicken cooks, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the pearl onions and blanch for approximately 1-2 minutes. Transfer the onions to an ice bath to stop cooking and immediately remove from the ice bath. Trim off the root end and peel off the skin. Set peeled onions aside.
- When chicken has finished cooking remove from the skillet and transfer to a clean plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- In the same skillet add an additional teaspoon olive oil, diced onion, minced garlic and fresh rosemary. Stir to combine while scraping up the brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Sauté for 1-2 minutes and add the white wine. Mix well to combine.
- Add the reserved peach juice, brown sugar and dijon mustard to the skillet. Stir. Add the pearl onions and continue to cook over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Return the chicken back to the skillet and add the peaches. Continue to cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until peaches are hot and chicken is warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or buttered noodles.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
If you enjoy this Peach and Chicken Skillet, you may also love-
Learn more about Pacific Coast Producers here
For more recipe inspiration featuring canned goods, check out these recipes-
Dad’s Favorite Peach Cobbler by Shannon at Lone Star Nutrition
S&W® White Beans, Greens and Sun Dried Tomato Salad by Christy at Christy Wilson Nutrition
Slimmed Down Creamy Seafood Pasta by Shelly Redmond at Skinny Louisiana
Apricot Glazed Chicken Wings by Gina Vierra at Pacific Coast Producers