Monday, September 3, 2012

White Wine Braised Chicken with Figs

I've always been slightly obsessed with figs. One of the only cookies that we could eat when I was a kid was fig newtons. We weren't a big sweets household. But the taste of figs always reminds me of being a kid.

While I eat a lot of fig spread, but I rarely actually cook with figs. They have a relatively short growing season so I rarely see whole figs in the grocery store. But I knew that Whole Foods was selling them now, so I decided to incorporate figs with a recipe.

This recipe slow braises chicken in white wine and chicken broth, cooked long with onions and shallots, and finally combined with the figs. And to top it all off, a creamy goat cheese polenta serves as the anchor for the recipe. You could easily substitute the polenta with mashed potatoes or pasta, but the creaminess of the polenta goes really well with the dish. The recipe serves 4-6 people.

2 T butter
2 lb chicken quarters
1 large onion
6 large shallots
1 C chicken broth
1 C white wine
2 T herbs de provence spice blend
8 large figs

6 C water
1/2 t salt
2 C cornmeal or any non-instant polenta blend
1/2 C goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Roughly chop the onions and peel the shallots. Set aside. Cut the ends off of the shallots but don't chop them.

Heat up butter in a large dutch oven or any other pan that can go from stovetop to oven. Pat the chicken dry and add to the pan.

Brown the chicken, about 5 minutes on each side.

Remove the chicken and set on a dish. Add the broth, wine and herbs de provence. Scrape up any brown bits from the chicken. Bring up to a boil.

Add the chicken and any juices that may have collected on the plate.

Bring back to a boil and then add the onions and shallots. Tuck in around the chicken. Put the whole thing in the oven. Let cook for an hour.

Measure out the polenta.

Heat up the water and bring to a boil. Steadily add the cornmeal in and stir occasionally for 30 minutes.

Look! Figs! Just cut off the top of the stem and cut in half lengthwise.

 Remove the dish from the oven when the 45 minutes is up.

Add the figs and cook on medium heat for another 15 minutes until sauce has thickened. You can remove the chicken if you want and set aside if the liquid is not reducing enough and cook longer.

Add the goat cheese to the polenta and combine well.

Put the polenta in a bowl and serve out some of the chicken and drizzle the sauce over the dish. Enjoy!! 

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