Figs are a blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em kind of fruit. Or, if you’re like me, you spend so much time contemplating what to actually do with them that when you finally decide, fresh fig season is long gone. So, I wanted to make sure I got this recipe out while someone might still have a chance at finding fresh figs, even though I had it sitting unpublished for a while because I couldn’t think of a better title.
I’ve had this dilemma for a while that I really wanted to add fresh figs to my cooking repertoire, but most of the typical preparations just aren’t my thing. Fig tarts and pizzas, both sweet and savory, with things like gorgonzola and prosciutto, sound absolutely delicious. But, they don’t have much of a place in our low-carb, pork-free kitchen. I looked for ideas with more protein, and found lots of fig-stuffed pork loins, which obviously doesn’t work for me either. Then there were some nice chicken and lamb dishes I found that involved braising with dried figs. Dried figs? That wouldn’t exactly fulfill my mission to cook a meal with fresh figs.
So I came up with something simple and healthy of my own with a protein of my preference – chicken. I paired the figs with sweet shallots and thickened balsamic vinegar to serve along with pan-seared chicken seasoned with fresh herbs, still overflowing from the pot on my deck. Paired with nutmeg-roasted acorn squash and turnips, this meal is definitely one I’ll make again as long as fresh figs are still around!
Herby Chicken with Balsamic Figs and Shallots
3 tsp olive oil, divided
2 5oz chicken breasts
a few sprigs each of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme
1 large shallot, sliced (about 75gm)
freshly ground salt & pepper
pinch of ground ginger
8 small fresh figs (about 150 gm)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Pound the chicken breasts to about 1/4″ thickness. Chop the herbs together and mix with freshly ground salt and pepper, and rub the mixture onto both sides of each chicken breast. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove from and keep warm.
Add remaining 2 tsp olive oil to the pan. Cook the shallots in the oil for about 10-15 minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper and a pinch of ginger. Slice the figs in quarters and add to the shallots, stirring for a few minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil, and simmer for about a minute, until slightly thickened. Push the onion and fig mixture to the side of the pan and add the chicken back to the skillet. Cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until the shallot and fig mixture is thickened and syrupy with the vinegar, and the chicken is warmed through. Serve immediately.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Cholesterol: 82.2 mg
Sodium: 97.3 mg
Total Carbs: 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 34.2 g