Summah, summah, summah!
I know it’s August (Already?! Seriously?!), and serving a summery salad seems like a no brainer. That said, this particular summer salad is a must-share recipe. And definitely a no brainer. It is summery in all the best ways, and you should probably definitely plan to make it as soon as possible. Like, tonight.
I’m feeling a bit dramatic about it because it’s been my most recent favorite thing. I’ve made this chicken two times in the past week and have happily devoured it hot off the grill or chopped up in this salad. It’s all the wonderful flavors of summer in one bite. We’ve got grilled chicken, sweet peaches, tart cherries, peppery greens, and tangy goat cheese. These things belong together. I’m convinced that there is no better combo in the world. In fact, I’m officially declaring this my new favorite summer salad. Boom!
I went there. Yup.
The chicken is marinated in a sweet and tangy peach concoction that also serves as the glaze AND the salad dressing. It’s THAT good. You will want to use every last drop of it, I promise. I echo the flavors of the marinade/dressing by throwing some sweet sliced peaches on top of the greens along with all the other aforementioned awesome things, including the chicken. Can’t forget that sweet, smoky chicken. It is my favorite grilled chicken recipe thus far, and I plan to make it many times over before the summer is done (which, um, is kinda soon… sad face). I can’t seem to get through a batch of peaches fast enough (they seem to ripen and then overripen at the same rate as avocados), so this type of thing is perfect for using up those peaches that may be on their last legs. The riper the peaches, the better.
I don’t normally get this excited about poultry. Really. It’s just not that thrilling most of the time. It’s a staple in our diet because it’s quick, easy, and healthy…but THIS chicken is making me all giddy and arm-flail-y. That happens when I get excited. I flail. What else can I say? Make this chicken as soon as possible. It’s just downright delicious. It’s peachy.
My arms are still flailing around. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Make this chicken. Make this salad.
Thank me later.
Peach-Glazed Grilled Chicken Salad with Cherries & Goat Cheese (makes 4 servings)
For the Chicken:
2 ripe peaches, pitted and chopped
¼ cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup peach jam or preserves
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Salad:
8 cups of greens (I used a mix of baby arugula and spinach)
2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
1 cup pitted cherries, halved
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
For the Chicken:
Combine the peaches, onion, vinegar, mustard, preserves, water, and oil in a blender and puree until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Place a third of the mixture in a large resealable plastic bag and add the chicken breasts. Marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours (I ended up marinating mine for close to 24 hours and the chicken came out VERY moist and tender). Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes before you are ready to grill. Divide the remaining peach mixture in half (for two uses: brushing on the chicken as it cooks and also as the salad dressing).
Preheat the grill to medium-high and oil the grates. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 2 minutes on one side, brush liberally with the peach mixture, and then cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Continue to brush and flip the chicken until completely cooked through, about 8 minutes total (depending on the size of your chicken breasts). Remove the chicken from the grill, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before thinly slicing.
For the Salad:
Toss the greens, peaches, cherries, and onion in the remaining third of the peach mixture. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and the sliced chicken and serve!