You may recognize Ellie Krieger from her popular Food Network show, Healthy Appetite. She's back with her fifth cookbook, Weeknight Wonders, and she's ready to further prove that quick and healthy aren't necessarily mutually exclusive terms in the world of food. A registered dietitian with an impressive Ivy-League education in nutrition, Krieger's collection includes 150 recipes that focus on "fresh, minimally processed, additive-free [and] low-fat" ingredients, and each can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. If you love the combination of sweet and savory as much as I do, then this chicken is a must-try.

Peach Chicken with Crispy Bread Crumbs


This dish has the savory, crispy-coated appeal of breaded chicken cutlets, minus the messy, unhealthy frying and with the added bonus of a sweet peach topping. The chicken is dipped in a homemade Italian dressing, then coated in freshly toasted seasoned bread crumbs, topped with the peaches and baked until delightfully browned and crisp but still lusciously moist from the fruit. Toss some asparagus with a little olive oil and salt and pop it in the oven for a few minutes before you put the chicken in for a roasted asparagus side, or try it with Asparagus “Pasta” (page 246) or Pan-Steamed Broccoli with Lemon, Garlic, and Parsley Gremolata (page 253).

  • 4 large ripe fresh peaches or one 1-pound bag unsweetened frozen sliced peaches
  • 4 pieces whole-wheat sandwich bread (¼ pound)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 13 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

If using fresh peaches, pit them and slice each one into 8 slices. Otherwise, thaw frozen peaches in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove.

Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Place them in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until they are crisp and toasted, 3 to 4 minutes.

Combine the bread crumbs, sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon of the paprika, and ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Mince the garlic and place it in a small bowl along with the oil, vinegar, oregano, sugar, onion powder, and remaining ¼ teaspoon each paprika, salt, and pepper. Whisk well to combine.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Dip the chicken in the vinaigrette, then press it into the bread crumb mixture and place it in the baking dish. Sprinkle any remaining bread crumbs into the pan, on and around the chicken, then drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top to moisten the crumbs.

Distribute the peaches evenly across the top of the chicken and drizzle with any accumulated peach juices. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and begins to brown, 12 to 13 minutes.

SERVING SIZE: 1 chicken breast, ½ cup peaches, and ¼ cup additional crumb mixture
CALORIES: 480; Total Fat 20g (Sat Fat 3g, Mono Fat 12.2g, Poly Fat 3.0g); Protein 42g; Carb 32g; Fiber 5g; Cholesterol 110mg; Sodium 620mg
EXCELLENT SOURCE OF: Fiber, Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K
GOOD SOURCE OF: Copper, Iron, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Vitamin A, Zinc

Excerpted from Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger. Copyright © 2013 by Ellie Krieger. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Excerpted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Read our review of this book.

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