Sunday, September 29, 2013

Use those figs!

Yay for figs! They've been everywhere here lately-the farmers market, the grocery store, the other grocery obviously I had to figure out how to use them. This originally was going to be a goat cheese and thyme stuffed chicken, but I only bought goat cheese in my head, so plans changed about 5 minutes before I started cooking.

Luckily, too. This was delicious. And I did it all in one skillet. (Plus a bowl here and there. You are welcome, hubby.)

This recipe might call more the most butter I've ever used, like ever. It wasn't a huge quantity, but it was in everything. And it was awesome. The recipes I found and combined to make this all called for a LOT more, so I actually replaced some with a bit of olive oil, and still ended up using 3 tbsp less than directed. So if you're a Paula Deen at heart (the butter loving part, not the other part), go ahead and throw some more in there-you can add at least another tbsp to the sauce. I just didn't want the calories and didn't miss it. Your call.

Also, I've been making 3-4 servings of everything lately so hubby can take leftovers for lunch. So this will work with 3 or 4 chicken breasts. It's not exact. You may have some leftover cheese mixture if you make 3, or just don't fill the chickens as full and make 4. I trust you can figure this one out.

I served with a side of simple mashed red potatoes (skins on, mashed with some butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste).

Blue Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Walnut Chicken with Fig Sauce

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
Half a medium-small red onion, halved and sliced thinly
about 3 oz blue cheese
About 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
salt and fresh pepper
8-10 figs, halved
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup chicken broth/stock
olive oil

Heat oven to 400.

Heat about 2 tsp butter and a dash of olive oil over medium heat in a large oven safe skillet (if you have one, otherwise a large frying pan or similar is fine) and cook onions for 8 minutes or so until they are soft and starting to brown. Remove to a medium bowl to cool.

Add the wine and sugar to the pan and bring to boil (high heat). Reduce to medium and simmer until it's reduced to about half. Add the broth and reduce again til about half gone. Pour liquid carefully into a pyrex or bowl (or whatever you've got) and set aside.

Take the cooled onions and add in the blue cheese and walnuts. Gently mix together.

Take your chicken breasts and with a thin knife, make a hole into the middle of the narrow end, fanning your knife a bit to make the hole wide on the inside. It may be easier at this point to stick a finger or two in there and widen a bit more (don't break through!) If you have a different way you want to make a pocket, do it. The point is that you're gonna put stuff in it and you don't really want it escaping.

Take the cheese and onion mixture and (with your hands) push it down into the pockets. Take a toothpick and close the hole up a bit, if you can. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Add 2 tsp butter and a splash of olive oil to skillet/pan and heat to medium. Brown the chicken for about 3 minutes a side, then either put the skillet straight into the oven or transfer the chicken to a (cooking spray coated) baking dish. Let cook 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let set. If you used the skillet method, remove from skillet and place on a serving dish before continuing.

In the skillet/pan, add another tbsp of butter and once hot (foamy) add the figs, cut side down. Let cook 3-4 minutes, then add the wine sauce back in. Cook another few minutes until hot and the figs are pretty and brown. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over the chicken.

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