Every year I like to make a sweet chicken for the holidays to signify the coming of a sweet new year. And so it was a splendid bunch of figs which sparked the creation of this sweet and savory, oven roasted chicken dish.
My littlest one said it was (and I quote him) “the best chicken ever.” He stressed that when I make chicken I can only make this one and that there will never be any leftovers. Given that there were all sorts of questionable looking ingredients floating around the dish, I’d say coming from my pickiest child — who never wants anything to be touching on his plate and is generally hesitant to try new foods — this dish gets a rave review from my 8 year old. So, I’m thrilled to report that I’ve got a new favorite in my house and it comes at an ideal time, for back to school dinner frustrations can be never ending for us all.
Back to School Chicken
Shallots, garlic and ginger combined with the delectable taste of fresh figs, prunes and golden raisins simmer in the oven with orange juice, white wine and soy sauce resulting in a moist, flavorful meal. For the finishing touch, serve with couscous and steamed broccoli. You can make a large batch like I did and then freeze half for a later dinner.
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 pounds of chicken (a combination of boneless thighs, drum sticks and breasts)
1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
5 large garlic cloves, chopped roughly
1 cup sliced shallots
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 figs, thinly sliced
2 ounces golden raisins
½ cup chopped prunes
1/3 cup dry white wine
½ cup orange juice
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet (non-stick preferable). Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Brown the chicken in batches, seasoning with sea salt and pepper as you cook. Transfer to a large (you may need two) baking dish. Once all of the chicken is browned, drizzle the chicken with honey. To the skillet, add a bit more olive oil and sauté the shallots for a minute or two. Add the fresh figs, prunes and raisins. Gradually add the orange juice, soy sauce and wine, stirring briskly. Evenly divide the sauce over the chicken and bake covered with tin foil for one hour. Remove the foil just before the end to crisp the chicken a bit. (Or you can place under the broiler just before serving.) If freezing, cool the dish completely and place in a freezer safe container.