The temperature has dropped and fall is in the air. To transition into this new season, I’ve created a dish using very subtle “autumn” flavors. For me, it’s still a little too early for apple pies and pumpkin soups, so here’s a dish that just slightly introduces some cozy flavor into your meal.
I was never a fan of figs. Then again, I had never truly had a fig other than in the ever so popular Fig Newtons. A couple years ago, my dad finally introduced me to this wonderful fruit. Sweet, soft, studded with tiny seeds…they are awesome. One thing to note about figs: they spoil pretty quickly. Plan on buying them and using them within a couple of days. The main season for figs begins at the end of summer and lasts through fall, making them the perfect fruit to use in September dishes.
I extract all of the honey-like sweetness out of the figs by caramelizing them. In the same pan, I reduce Port wine down into a glazy sauce, infusing it with rosemary, thyme, and a little cinnamon to introduce some warmth into the dish. A touch of butter finishes the sauce and creates a rich consistency. I pour this sauce over a simply prepared chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper and seared to perfection. I finish cooking the chicken in the oven to ensure it comes out tender and juicy. To contrast all of the sweetness in the sauce, I make a pistachio “paste” and blend it with yogurt. This works as a great spread underneath the chicken with the figs spooned over the top. I finish it off with some salty pistachios and dig in!
- 3 oz salted pistachios (plus more for garnish)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 6 oz plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb trimmed & halved figs
- 1 cup Port
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 chicken breasts
- Olive oil, salt & pepper
- In a food processor combine the pistachios and olive oil. Blend until the mixture turns into a paste. Add the rosemary and honey, and pulse until incorporated. Lastly, add the yogurt and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat through. Add the figs to the pan and caramelize for 3 minutes. Pour in the port and chicken stock, and add the rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon stick. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes. When the sauce is reduced by half and has thickened, turn off the heat and swirl in the butter. Discard the herbs and cinnamon before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the pan. Season each chicken breast on both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Sear each chicken breast until golden brown, a few minutes on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking, about 6-8 more minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperatures of 165°F.
- Spread a spoonful of pistachio yogurt onto a plate. Place each piece of chicken on top of the yogurt. Spoon the caramelized figs and reduced port over the top. Garnish with a sprinkle of pistachios.