Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Peaches and chicken atop rice make a simple, light summer entrée

Summer dinners are so a challenge. Keep it light, keep it simple, avoid firing up the oven, give it the flavor of summer, use fresh-from-the-garden if at all possible. No pressure.

This meal suggestion was a good compromise. Part of the cooking time involved the oven but only for 15 minutes. The chicken was sautéed on the stovetop and finished in the oven to avoid drying it out in the skillet preparation. Peaches combined with the chicken broth created natural juices, so the chicken stayed moist.

These were our garden-ripened peaches, of course, but the farmers markets are a good peach source. The unusual addition of peaches gave the chicken a sweet, fruity taste. We served these Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts over rice, but the recipe suggests it atop couscous or quinoa as well.

Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts

4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
4 large peaches, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use salt and pepper to season chicken on both sides. In a large ovenproof skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until chicken is browned. Remove chicken from skillet; reserve drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallot to hot drippings in skillet and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add basil, chicken broth, and peaches. Return chicken to skillet and turn to coat. Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Makes 4 servings. (Source: Southern Living June 2012)

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