Fig & Aleppo Pepper Chicken

I visited my local Trader Joe’s yesterday. I have to admit I don’t shop there nearly as much as I did when we were in Pennsylvania.

It’s really not as much fun walking through the store and not stopping to speak with people. Granted, I spent almost 17 years working at #632, so I knew customers and crew members, alike. I couldn’t take three steps without running into someone I knew, get a hug, catch up on gossip… It was a social outing more than a shopping outing. Getting groceries was almost an afterthought.

Today, I’m the invisible shopper. I come in, walk the aisles, get my stuff – and nary a comment, word, or eye contact from the staff. Any conversations have been initiated by me. It’s odd. The stores are familiar – yet alien – at the same time.

And then there’s the products…

Things have changed just a bit since I started working for them back in 2001. They’re no longer the cheapskate company going into 2nd-tier strip malls for cheap rents. They’ve gone high-end – and their prices show it.

Yeah… they’ve maintained prices on a lot of things – Organic Ketchup is still $1.99 – but I can get a lot of things cheaper at Safeway or WinCo. They’re really pushing the limit on a lot of items.

That being said… I did pick up some unique things while I was there – first was a Honey Aleppo Sauce – $3.99 for a 10 oz bottle (about $48.00/gal.) I also picked up some fresh figs – $4.99/lb.

My mind went right to my Demo Cooking days – they became the base for dinner.

Victor and I both love the sweet/hot / sweet/savory combinations, so figs and aleppo just seemed to be the right combination.

We use aleppo pepper a lot in the house – it adds a lot of flavor with just a bit of heat. And we use it in a lot of non-traditional ways. It adds flavor to any cuisine.

The aleppo sauce seemed like the perfect foil for chicken.

Chicken with Figs and Aleppo

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb fresh figs
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 roasted red pepper, drained and sliced into strips
  • 1/2 bottle Honey Aleppo Sauce

I grilled the chicken – first rubbing it with a bit of S&P, aleppo pepper, and garlic powder.

Meanwhile, I cut the onion into wide strips and sautéed them in a bit of olive oil. I added the broth, brought it to a boil, reduced it by a third, and then added the aleppo sauce, red pepper strips, and the figs that I cut in half.

When the chicken was nearly done, I added it to the pan, covered, and let it simmer about 10 minutes until the chicken was completely cooked.

Served with rice made with Milk Street Rice Spice Blend – something I received for renewing my subscription.

A pretty good meal, if I do say so, m’self.

My mind really did kick into former Demo Cooking days… I could see this sauce in a beef stew – sort of a riff on a Hungarian Goulash – or a Shrimp and Grits-type meal…

Lots of possibilities.

Let’s hope it’s actually available next time I go shopping.