This recipe has also been featured on Serious Eats.
I made the mistake of telling James that peach season will be ending soon.
It started with the simple suggestion that he might like to buy a couple while they’re still juicy and ripe. He’s got a weak spot for peach-habanero salsa and brown butter peach pie, he chops up peaches to mix in his oatmeal, and sometimes just enjoys eating one for breakfast or with lunch. I thought I was being a good girlfriend– you know, looking out for him.
But then he came home with three dozen of them. James and the Giant Bag of Peaches.
So we had an entire fridge drawer and then some filled with peaches for weeks, begging to be used up before they went bad, crying out for a crust or a glaze. I heard them whisper “make me into pie” in my sleep, but I had some prosciutto with better plans.
Originally, I wanted to make a more traditional chicken saltimbocca-inspired dish for the blog. But whenever I opened the fridge and five billion peaches nearly overflowed onto the floor, I couldn’t help but consider ditching the saltimbocca in favor of grilled peaches wrapped up in salty, fatty prosciutto. In fact, I nearly did. That is, until I thought to try combining the two.
Chicken, fresh sage, prosciutto and a wine reduction would all taste wonderful with sweet peaches thrown into the mix, and though I’d never grilled chicken saltimbocca before, it was worth a try.
It wound up being one of the best ideas I’d had all year.
Few grilled recipes reach their full potential without a tenderizing and tasty marinade, so I decided to soak the chicken and peaches white wine mixture. Not only did the chicken and peaches absorb the flavor, but I also was able to boil off the remaining marinade as the chicken grilled so I could make a great sauce to serve on the side. Nothing goes to waste here!
Then, to get sage and saltiness in every bite, I folded the fresh sage in between the slices of prosciutto and wove them around the chicken and peach pieces as I threaded each one onto the skewer. Prosciutto is a bit delicate, so you want to take your time with this step at first, but once you get the hang of it you can churn them out quickly. Don’t fret too much about little tears or sloppy parts, as they won’t matter much once the prosciutto crisps up on the grill.
I had been thinking about each ingredient as a separate component that would work together, but in the end the Grilled Chicken & Peach Saltimbocca Skewers are so much more than the sum of their parts. The flavor of the prosciutto soaks into the chicken and peaches as they all cook together, while the sweetness from the peaches and the tartness from the wine balance out the fattiness of the ham. Earthiness of the sage keeps the recipe firmly in savory territory, and the combination of textures from each ingredient creates some amazing skewers.
Basically, they’re just incredibly delicious, and the best way I can imagine enjoying the end of summer and the end of peach season.
Needless to say, both James and I wound up very glad that he bought a billion peaches.Print
For the Marinade:
- 1 cup (240ml) dry white wine
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons; 30ml)
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use more or less depending on their intensity and your heat tolerance)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
For the Skewers:
- 1 1/2 pounds (680g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 large semifirm peaches, halved, pitted, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 6 ounces (170g) thinly sliced prosciutto
- 12 sage leaves, or more as desired
- For the Marinade: In a large bowl, combine wine, lemon juice, soy sauce, chopped sage, and shallot. Whisk in olive oil and red pepper flakes, then season with salt.
- For the Skewers: Add chicken and peach cubes to bowl of marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
- Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.
- Meanwhile, working with one slice at a time, place prosciutto slices on a flat surface and lay 1 to 2 sage leaves on top of each. Fold prosciutto slices in half lengthwise so that sage is sandwiched inside.
- Remove chicken and peaches from marinade and reserve marinade. Using a skewer, pierce one end of sage-stuffed prosciutto. Place a piece of chicken right where the skewer pierced the prosciutto and slide skewer through the chicken as well, then slide skewer through prosciutto again, on the other side of the chicken. Next, slide a peach cube onto skewer, then weave prosciutto and pierce once more on the far side of the peach cube. Repeat, alternating chicken and peach chunks, with prosciutto snaking back and forth around them along the length of the skewer. Repeat until all 6 skewers are assembled.
- Pour marinade into a small saucepan and cook over high heat. Bring to a full, rolling boil for 2 minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, whisking occasionally, until reduced and thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Set aside.
- Grill skewers over high heat until prosciutto crisps and chicken has cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side. If skewers threaten to burn, move them to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking. Serve skewers warm with the dipping sauce made from the marinade.