You may have noticed I have a thing for stews—particularly, chicken stews—one-pot (mostly), unfussy (definitely) dishes that are simple to assemble, easily scale up or down, take advantage of seasonal produce, and taste as good leftover as they do on Night One.
There was the Riesling-fueled, Alsatian riff on Coq au Vin; the Mexican corn-and-poblano take; the Southern-influenced, peach-tomato-okra jumble; and, most recently, the Thai-West African peanut mash-up.
So here’s one for the thumb.
Like so many dishes in my regular repertory, this one is smashed together from a couple of sources. Here, the inspirations were Marc Vetri’s porcini-and-peach appetizer (from his Il Viaggio di Vetri) and Melissa Clark’s peach-basil-ginger chicken, whose recipe I clipped from the NY Times back in 2009.
At home, I do this in a 9-by-13-inch or 8-inch-square glass baking dish, but this stew is campfire-friendly, too. Prep and pack what you can at home, of course, then assemble it all in a Dutch oven set on a grate over a fire (or even directly in the coals), where it will cook a little faster than it would in the oven (say, in 15 minutes).
Peach & Mushroom Chicken Stew
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch strips
- 2 firm, medium-sized peaches, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 6-8 oz porcini, trumpet, shitake, or other mushrooms, chopped
- 1 small red onion, sliced fine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Fino or other dry sherry
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1-inch hunk of ginger root, peeled and grated
- small handful of chopped or torn fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400º.
Swirl the olive oil into your baking dish (or dutch oven). Layer in all the ingredients, reserving a few basil leaves for garnish at the end. Gently stir.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked through and the peaches are soft, but (with luck) not mushy. Sprinkle with the remaining basil.
Serve over farro or brown rice, which will soak up the thin, sweet and savory sauce. Or use a hunk of your favorite crusty bread as a mop (I’ve used warm corn tortillas, too).
Leftovers reheat well on the stovetop or in the microwave, but know that the peaches will break down a bit, still offering plenty of flavor, just not as much eye appeal. But if your lunchroom fridge has poachers, maybe that’s okay.