My neighbor Hannah has a fig tree, and too many figs. This was a problem I was more than happy to swing by to help her with.
Hannah gave me bunches of ideas for what to do with the figs, including dipping them in chocolate and large-flake salt, stuffing them with goat cheese and drizzling over some honey, and topping pizzas with them – and yes, all of those are going to happen because HOORAY FOR FIG SEASON – but what I ultimately decided to do with this particular batch was to incorporate them into a dinner by cooking them up in a port-wine sauce that I poured over goat cheese and shallot-stuffed chicken.
I love it when a savory dinner includes unexpectedly sweet elements – it just feels decadent – and this meal has all of the richness with none of the heaviness you’d usually associate with that much intense flavor.
BAKED CHICKEN WITH GOAT CHEESE, SHALLOTS & FIGS (serves 2, generously)
What You Need:
- 2 skinless, boneless organic chicken breasts
- 3 oz goat cheese
- 3 shallots, finely sliced
- 1 cup port wine (or red wine)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp coarsely chopped rosemary
- 5 peeled figs, halved lengthwise
What You Do:
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 or 4 minutes (or until softened and golden). Remove to a plate.
- In the same pan, bring the port wine and chicken broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer 6-10 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
- While the sauce is cooking down, combine the goat cheese, shallots, and rosemary in a small bowl (you can reserve a little rosemary for garnish if you like). Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
- While the sauce continues to cook, pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels, and then use a very sharp knife to cut pockets into one side of each breast (just slice horizontally about 3/4 of the way through the breast, making sure not to slice all the way through). Season generously with salt and pepper, and stuff each chicken breast with 1/2 the goat cheese/shallot mixture.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, and pour into a serving dish.
- In the same pan, heat 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil) and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Wipe out the pan. Then place the chicken on a lightly oiled sheet pan and let cook in the oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until juices run clear.
- A few minutes before the chicken is ready, heat a little olive oil in the pan and add the figs, cut side down. Cook about 2 minutes, or until the figs are well-browned, then add the port wine sauce, 1 tsp butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until heated through.
Serve the chicken topped with the port wine and fig sauce, with rosemary garnish, if desired.