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Archive for the ‘Figs’ Category

I’m not really into dishes that combine sweet and savoury, I can’t stand chicken and apricots for example. However, when I saw Skye Gyngell’s recipe for chicken with figs and honey I thought it was worth a shot because I LOVE figs. I like how they’re not overly sweet and how aesthetically pleasing they are to look at. Figs are also in season at the moment so I reckon that’s reason enough to give this recipe a go. I must say we weren’t disappointed!

Skye says to use a whole chicken jointed into 6-8 pieces. This is much more economical than buying the pieces individually and you have the added bonus of the chicken carcass from which to make chicken stock which can be done at the same time. You can get your butcher to joint your bird but it is a really satisfying thing to be able to do yourself and if you follow my instructions carefully, it’s surprisingly easy to get the hang of.

Skye Gyngell’s Chicken with Figs and Honey (serves 6)

Ingredients:
– 1 x 1.6 kg organic free-range chicken jointed into 6-8 pieces
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons mild-tasting oil (I used sunflower)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
– a few sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
125ml white wine
150ml good-quality chicken stock
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mild tasting honey such as acacia (I actually used agave nectar as I’d run out of honey – exact same quantity)
10 ripe figs

Preheat the oven 180C/160C fan/400F/gas 6. Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. 

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and brown the chicken in batches, skin side down, for about 8 minutes, turning to colour them evenly all over. The chicken skin should sizzle when placed in the pan but if it starts to pop, your pan is too hot, so turn down slightly.

Once browned all over, remove the chicken to a flame proof casserole dish using a slotted spoon. Pour off most of the fat from the frying pan, then add the onion and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes to soften.

Add the onion to the casserole along with the thyme and bay leaf. Pour over the wine and chicken stock. Place the casserole, uncovered, on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until the meat is tender but not quite falling off the bone. The skin should now be golden and the liquid reduced by about half.


Place the casserole over a low heat on the hob. Mix the wine vinegar and honey together and pour in. Tear each of the ripe figs into four and add to the casserole. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble until the liquor has reduced to a syrupy consistency – it should be glossy and taste both sweet and sour. Just a note on timings – reducing the liquid to the right consistency took a lot longer than I expected (the good part of an hour), so be prepared!

 

Skye suggests serving this with a simple green salad and warm crusty fresh bread to mop up all the juices, which is exactly what we did and it was delicious!

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