I’ve been spending considerable time at the Queener Fruit Farm in Scio after discovering them in August. The owners, Peter and Tommie van de Kamp, specialize in apples, peaches, black currants, red currants, gooseberries, cider, cider syrup, and black currant products. Their fruit and fruit products are coveted by notable chefs throughout the northern Willamette Valley.
“Our goal is to produce the best tree-ripened fruit and to provide a range of full-flavored classic and modern apple varietals, including European cooking apples and cider apples. Our main crops are Red Gravensteins (blue ribbon winners at the Oregon State Fair for the last thirteen years), Lodi, Jonagold, Empire, Braeburn and Honeycrisp. We were selected by Slow Food Nation (in San Francisco) which featured our Blackcurrant jam in the Taste Pavilion in 2008, and in 2011, we won an award in the Preserves category of Good Foods Awards.”
From their page on LocalHarvest.org
When I brought up the subject of Clear Creek Distilleries and their award-winning fruit brandies and liqueurs, Tommie told me that they use her black currants in the Cassis Liqueur.
“There is a very limited supply of black currants in Oregon, but a small farmer in Scio, Oregon grows beautiful currants and she provides them still on the stem, which is ideal, so we decided to experiment. We macerated her black currants in our clear fruit brandy and the result is truly wonderful: a tart, lightly sweet, slightly earthy liqueur with huge fruit flavor. Lovely in the classic Kir and Kir Royale (cassis in white wine or champagne, respectively) or sipped on its own.”
Clear Creek Distillery
Inspired by the sight of their huge, luscious peaches hanging on the trees waiting for Tommie to test their readiness to be harvested, I went beyond devouring them hand to mouth to incorporating them in a chicken dish. I remembered seeing a recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks using whiskey, barbecue sauce, and peach preserves. Now the whole inspiration was complete.
Peachy Whiskey BBQ Braised Chicken
Adapted from a similar recipe by Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman Cooks
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¾ cup bourbon whiskey such as Jim Beam
- ½ jar peach preserves
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 ounces of The Czar’s Pinot & Chipotle Sauce* (or your favorite bottled BBQ sauce)
- 2 whole, fresh peaches, peeled, seeded and sliced
- Heat oil in a heavy, covered Dutch oven, or similar pan that can go into an oven.
- Brown the chicken in two batches, skin side down until crispy and well browned.
- Turn chicken and brown on the other side.
- Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Set chicken aside on a platter and keep warm.
- Pour off ½ of the fat in the pan.
- Sauté the onions until translucent.
- Add remaining ingredients except peach slices, stir and heat through.
- Add half the peach slices, the chicken and then remaining peach slices.
- Spoon a bit of the sauce over all, cover and cook in a 300 ºF oven for 1½ hours.
The Czar’s Pinot & Chipotle Sauce is a relatively new product from Jack Czarnecki of OregonTruffleOil.com and The Joel Palmer House. You can find his products at the Made in Oregon store, many valley wineries and from him by mail order.
Serve with your favorite mashed potatoes or soft polenta.
Bon appétit and a tip of our glass to Charlene,
About the Author (Author Profile)
Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities