Friday, August 27, 2010


Well, I embraced the kitchen last night, triple digit temps and all. I've heard figs go bad rather quickly, and I wanted to use them before they got smooshy or whatever it is that happens to them.

Gotta say, I'm a fan. When they're fresh they have a super weird texture—soft but with tiny crunchy seeds...just like a fig newton, obviously, but when you braise them the contrast between skin, flesh and seeds is even more pronounced. In a good way, or at least I think so. Hubby wasn't around last night, so I don't have any more feedback. His only comment when viewing the leftovers was a slightly accusatory, "how much wine is in here?"

Harrumph. Not that much...the figs helped turn the whole thing a lovely shade of purple, too. Anyway, if, like me, you've never cooked with fresh figs, this is an easy one to start out with. Serve with some sort of starch...rice, quinoa, pasta, whatever you've got. Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.

Braised Chicken and Figs
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
4 bay leaves
olive oil
water (about a 1/4 cup)
large shallot, chopped
1/3 cup red wine
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
squirt of honey
About 8 fresh figs, cut in half lengthwise (remove stems)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place 1 bay leaf on each piece of chicken. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken, bay leaf sides down, in pan. Cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 3 minutes.

Add water; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

Add shallots to pan, saute about 2 minutes. Add chicken, wine, vinegar, and honey to pan and bring to a boil. Cook about 1 minute, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Add figs, then cover and simmer 5 more minutes or until figs are tender.

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