Figs, Chicken, and Sweet Potatoes

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by my impulse-buy of the day – a 2-pound package of fresh figs. I love figs in all their many guises – but fresh black mission figs may be the tops.

I was in a celebratory mood since my favorite grocery store had just reopened after a three-week closure due to some really serious flooding. There are certain things in our pantry that we rely on – from our favorite coffee to Blanche’s dog food and treats. I can augment coffee from a few different places, but poor Blanche was down to stems and seeds in the treat department!

But all that is better, now! The pantry is restocked and we have figs!

Did I mention that I like figs?!?

My first stop was the NY Times Food Section to see what ideas I could find. I saw a recipe for a stuffed turkey breast and decided I could use their concept as my flavor profile – fresh figs and olives.

Chicken Thighs with Fig and Olive Stuffing

  • 2 chicken thighs with bone and skin
  • 8 fresh figs
  • 2 tbsp olive tapenade
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bone chicken thighs but keep skin intact. Set aside.

Place figs, olive tapenade, garlic, anchovy, and bread crumbs in a food processor and process until smooth. Add pistachios and pulse just a couple of times to mix in.

Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet to a uniform thickness. Place several tablespoons of stuffing on chicken and wrap to enclose.

Place on an oiled pan and bake, uncovered, at 400°F for about 30 minutes.

And stuffed chicken thighs need a side dish – more figs!

Sweet Potatoes and Figs

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, and cut into wedges
  • 8 figs, halved
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 2″ pieces
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Lightly coat potato wedges with olive oil. Place in a small casserole, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and bake for 20 minutes at 400°F.

Remove from oven, add figs and green onions, and return to oven for an additional 20 minutes.

Drizzle with good-quality balsamic vinegar and serve.

I am very very rarely a chicken skin eater – I just don’t care for it – but I love its flavoring capabilities and ability to keep the chicken from drying out in a hot oven. And bone-in chicken thighs really are the only way to fly. And the price is right, to boot.

The rest of the figs went into a nice fruit salad – our default dessert, nowadays.

Figs have a short season back here in Pennsylvania, so I may have to shoot over to get more before they’re gone.