Buying groceries is a committment.  I think I’ve noted before that we don’t have buyers remorse in our house.  If we buy it, we use it.  As you have all seen over the years, it can lead to some interesting meals at times.

When I picked up that basket of fresh figs last week, I really didn’t have any plans – they just looked good and the price was right.

So… half a basket went to the onions and figs with the pork tenderloin the other night, but that other half of the basket has been sitting in the ‘fridge mocking me.

Until today.

I had chicken breasts and started thinking about chicken and figs.  And then I thought Morocco.  Cinnamon, corriander, cumin… That spicy, sweet flavor combination.  A concept was forming…

I had a recipe for a grilled Moroccan chicken that I’ve made before, but there’s no sauce – and I really wanted a figgy sauce – that was pretty much the whole idea tonight – use the figs.

I decided to combine a couple of recipes – and cultures while I was at it!

Grilled Moroccan Chicken

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix everything together. Pour into ziplock bag, add chicken, and marinate 4 to 6 hours.

Grill chicken until just cooked through.


Really easy and really flavorful.  But I still needed a fig sauce.  I found a basic Moroccan chicken with prunes that I new I could convert… I pretty much took the recipe apart and made it a stand-alone sauce with lots more vegetables.

After tasting it cooking I decided it needed some heat, so I added some Ethiopian Berbere.  (Okay, all you food purists out there, quit howling.  I’m in suburban Pennsylvania, not Casablanca.  I didn’t have any harissa in the house.)  The flavors worked.

Fig Sauce

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp berbere (harissa, if you have it – or cayenne, as desired)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pitted prune
  • 1 cup sliced figs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp honey

Cook onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in 2 tbsp oil.  Add flour and spices and mix well.  Add broth and mix well.  Add prunes and figs, lemon juice and honey.

Bring to a boil and cook until nicely thickened.

I had a bit of mahogany rice left from last night, so I added just a bit of white to stretch it out.

I plated the rice, added the chicken, and topped it all with the sauce.

A dish worthy of Rick’s Café Américain!