Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Fig Season!


I love figs! I'm not sure how it started but once I discovered figs, both dried and fresh I was hooked. Fresh figs are only available a short time so you have to grab them when you see them. Unfortunately, they can't be frozen. In the winter months I like to use dried figs in salads, baking and roasting. My husband and I visited Napa/Sonoma several years ago and I fell in love with The Girl and the Fig Restaurant. Their fig salad is delicious. My husband bought me the cookbook so I could recreate some of the recipes at home. I also purchased Fig Heaven which is full of yummy fig recipes. Although I didn't make this recipe exactly as directed it was delicious. The figs, bacon and goat cheese are a perfect match and serve to complement the roast chicken well. I served this with brown rice and a spinach salad with blueberry basil vinaigrette. Below is the recipe for the chicken with my changes. I hope to showcase more fresh fig recipes soon.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Fresh Figs and Goat Cheese
As Adapted from Fig Heaven by Marie Simmons

4 large boneless and skinless chicken breast halves, fillets removed (I used bone-in chicken breasts with the skin on and stuffed the filling under the skin)
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced fresh green or black figs (about 6 figs)
1/2 cup crumbled, well chilled goat cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
4 slices pancetta or bacon (I used bacon)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I omitted)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (I cooked mine at 350 since I didn't use the boneless).

2.
Place the chicken breasts smooth side up on the work surface with the thickets portion to your right. Butterfly the breast by cutting through the thick side toward the tapered side so you can open the breast like a book. Sprinkle the butterflied chicken inside and out with 1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves, pinch of salt and pepper. (I omitted this step)

3.
In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of thyme, the figs, the goat cheese, 1 tbsp olive oil, the garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and a grinding of black pepper. Toss to combine. Spoon the stuffing onto one side of each chicken breast, dividing it evenly. Close the chicken over the stuffing. Wrap a slice of pancetta around each chicken. Hold the breast closed and the pancetta in place with a toothpick or small metal skewer. (I omitted this step and stuffed the filling under the skin).

4.
Oil a large 13x9 shallow baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Turn and roast the other side until cooked through, about 10 minutes. (I cooked mine at 350 degrees for about 45-55 minutes).

5.
Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a serving platter and cover with foil. Add the wine to the pan and heat to a boil over high heat, scraping the browned bits and reducing wine to syrup about 5 minutes. Drizzle wine over chicken and serve. (I skipped this step).

1 comment:

Joelen said...

When we went to Napa, I was hoping to dine at The Girl and The Fig but we arrived to early and it was closed. I heard raves about the place so thanks for sharing this recipe!