Cherry Peppers Are The Secret Ingredient To Give Meat A Quick Sweet-Heat Fix

chicken thighs with sliced cherry peppers
chicken thighs with sliced cherry peppers - DronG/Shutterstock

If you've shopped in the pickle section of your grocery store recently, you can't help but notice the extensive selection of jarred peppers of every color glistening on the shelves. Tucked among the better-known pepperoncini and pickled jalapeños, you'll find one of our favorites -- bright red cherry peppers. You might be familiar with them as a popular addition to charcuterie boards, either as is or stuffed with a creamy dip, but these little flavor bombs are the secret ingredient you need to perk up your meat recipes, too.

Cherry peppers are mildly spicy, with a sweet, sour, and slightly salty brine. The tangy flavor of the small peppers is the perfect contrast to rich grilled or roasted meats, and their cheery color adds a welcome visual appeal to a plate. You'll love them with both dark and white cuts of chicken, and they perk up all kinds of red meat with their versatile depth.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Use The Peppers And Their Brine For Double Flavor

plate of steak with cherry peppers
plate of steak with cherry peppers - FoodAndPhoto/Shutterstock

The jar of cherry peppers actually has two useful ingredients inside -- the peppers and the brine liquid. One of the easiest ways to add this burst of flavor to your meat is to chop up a few peppers and add them to the skillet along with a tablespoon of the brine when you're pan-frying chicken thighs in a garlicky butter sauce. The sweet liquid will thicken up with the pan juices, making the sauce even more glossy, and the fruity-hot peppers are just what the dish needs to balance its richness. Try tossing some chopped peppers with leftover rotisserie chicken when you make tacos -- the peppers add the right punch of heat to go with the sweet mango salsa.

Cherry peppers are also a great partner for red meats -- you could perk up a braised short ribs recipe by adding a bit of brine from the jar to the braising liquid to increase acidity, and then sprinkle sliced peppers around the finished meat. The bright red slivers look very appealing against the dark meat. Chopped cherry peppers would also be an excellent topper for juicy beef or lamb burgers right off the grill. You'll love how these peppers add so much zing to any meat recipe and may start including them on your regular shopping list.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.