Disclosure: The wine was provided to me as a media sample. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.
I get it; weeknight cooking can be a drag. You want fast, easy, and budget-friendly meals. Spicy Peach Skillet Chicken is your weeknight dinner rescue paired with L’Ecole No 41 Chenin Blanc. This dinner can be on your table in less than an hour, including prep and cook time. One skillet makes clean up a breeze, and chicken thighs with frozen peaches make it affordable. Oh, and the wine, L’Ecole Chenin Blanc, is a steal of a deal at only $17 a bottle! Yeah, even weeknight dinners can be something special!
L’Ecole No. 41 Chenin Blanc
L’Ecole No 41 has been producing this crisp, aromatic Vouvray-style Chenin Blanc since 1987. The grapes come from three different Yakima Valley vineyards planted in 1979. The older vines bring better balance, concentrated fruit, notes of minerality, and good acidity to the wine.
The grapes are harvested in the early morning to keep the fruit cool. Gentle pressing of the grapes with minimal oxygen exposure helps to enhance and retain the vibrant aromatics. The juice then ferments in stainless steel with one-third undergoing malolactic fermentation, softening the acidity. The wine rests on its lees in stainless tanks and is heat and cold stabilized before a gentle cross-flow filtration and bottling in March of 2021.
My Tasting Notes
2020 L’Ecole No 41 Chenin Blanc Old Vines, Yakima Valley
13.5% abv | $17.00 L’Ecole No 41 | 100% Chenin Blanc
Pale straw in color. Vibrant aromas of chamomile, citrus, stone fruit, chalk, and quince. On the palate, dry with medium(+) body and acidity. Flavors of citrus, pear, quince, and minerals with a round soft mouthfeel. Well balanced with lingering layers of complexity.
The Pairing: Spicy Peach Skillet Chicken
L’Ecole Chenin Blanc, with its brightness and concentrated fruitfulness, balances the hint of spicy and sweetness in the chicken dish. The wine and chicken are a harmonious pairing with weight and flavor intensity. In addition, the texture of the chicken and silky sauce is reflected with the round mouthfeel of the wine. And finally, if not the essential element for this pairing, the refreshing crisp acidity of the Chenin Blanc.
Spicy Peach Skillet Chicken
- 6-8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- Kosher sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick wedges, cutting through the root end
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup no-sugar-added peach preserves
- 1 tablespoons Tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- 1-1/2 cup frozen peaches, or 2 fresh peaches, if in season, cut into fourths
- cilantro, basil, or mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Dry the chicken thighs well with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large heavy skillet (I used a cast-iron skillet), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes each side. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onions to the skillet, season with salt, and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. If using frozen peaches add them now. Pour in the wine and vinegar, stir to deglaze the pan. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the Tamari and peach preserves, stir to combine. Add the chicken thighs back to the skillet (and fresh peaches here if using fresh vs. frozen). Turn the chicken to coat them with the sauce. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low, cover the skillet and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (175 degrees F).
- Serve with Jasmine rice ( I like Trader Joes frozen Jasmine rice microwave packets). Top the rice and chicken with optional herb leaves.