Chicken with figs and honey

Chicken with figs and honey

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This dish, like so many, relies on using very good ingredients – lovely ripe figs and the best free-range organic chicken that you can afford. It is unquestionably simple, but delicious. A salad of leaves, dressed with nothing more than olive oil and lemon – and perhaps some good bread to mop up the juices – is all that is needed to accompany.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 organic free-range chicken, about 1.6 kg, jointed into 6–8 pieces
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons mild-tasting olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
few thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
125ml white wine or verjuice
150ml good-quality chicken stock
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mild-tasting honey, such as acacia
10 ripe figs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Trim off the excess fat from the chicken, then season it generously all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then brown the seasoned chicken pieces in batches, skin side down, for about 8 minutes, turning to colour them evenly all over. Remove the chicken to a flameproof casserole with 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.
  3. Add the onion to the casserole with the thyme and bay leaf. Pour over the wine or verjuice and the chicken stock. Place the casserole, uncovered, on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for about 30 minutes until the meat is tender but not quite falling from the bone. The skin should now be golden and the liquid reduced by about half.
  4. 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. Serve on warm plates, with a salad and some bread.
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