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Summer on a Platter

The peachiest pork ribs and chicken


A sweet and savory summer feast. - PHOTO BY WENDY CHAN
  • Photo by Wendy Chan
  • A sweet and savory summer feast.

The peach is the beauty queen of summer. The blend of red, yellow and pink colors brighten up my day. Luckily, my family's peach tree is right outside our kitchen window. I enjoy looking at it every day while I'm cooking. It brings me so much joy and hope during shelter in place, watching their soft pink blossoms give way to timid little green fruits. I cherish every phase. Now they are all grown up, elegant and returning peachy grins at me. I'm reluctant to pick them, as I just want this perfect picture to stay at my kitchen window a little longer. 

Sadly, as they started falling, I realized their show was over. I harvested and shared them with family and friends by making peach cobbler and tarts. Since not everyone in my household likes sweets, I made a savory dish with them, too. This recipe is easy to make and simply delightful. I baked peaches, pork spareribs and chicken drumsticks with some Asian fusion flavors. My boys said it's delicious since the peaches add some sweetness and tang to the meat. I love the flavor combination of fruit and meat, how the acids in the peaches tone down the fat in the pork and chicken. In this dish, I feel like I captured my summer on a plate. 

Roasted Summer Peach with Pork Ribs and Chicken


2 pounds pork spare ribs, trimmed and cut 

2 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks 

2 tablespoons minced garlic 

1 tablespoon minced ginger 

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper 

2 tablespoons regular soy sauce 

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce 

1/3 cup maple syrup or peach jam

¼ cup rice wine 

4 peaches, sliced ½ inch thick, plus additional slices for optional garnish

4 sprigs of thyme 

Soak the ribs and chicken in hot (but not boiling) water for 30 min before draining and patting them dry with a paper towel. Place the meat in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, soy sauces, jam and rice wine well. Pour the mixture over the meat and rub it in evenly. Let it marinate at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Heat the oven to 375 F. Arrange the ribs, chicken, peaches and thyme on a baking sheet, reserving the marinade liquid. Bake for 30 minutes, turn the meat over and baste it with the remaining marinade. Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until meat is fully cooked and the juices from the chicken run clear when you pierce the thickest part. For a crisp exterior, finish off by moving the pan to an upper rack and broiling for 3-5 minutes, watching carefully. To serve, transfer meat and any big pieces of peach to a platter. Top with fresh peach slices of (optional), and garnish with thyme sprigs. For a dipping sauce, you can pour any remaining liquid into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to desired intensity. Serve and enjoy.

You can find Home Cooking with Wendy Chan (she/her) classes benefitting local charities on Facebook.

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