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FreshTartSteph Recipe: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Figs & Mushrooms

Crispy chicken with fresh figs is weeknight luxury


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photo courtesy of stephanie meyer

The chicken is secondary in this recipe as far as I’m concerned—this dish is about the fresh figs. When perfectly ripe, figs are, of course, delectable eaten as-is. But by applying just a bit of heat—either by running them under the broiler or searing them briefly in a bit of fat—they become positively luscious, creamy even, with their earthy sweetness even more pronounced. I warm and eat a few every day while they’re in season.

Figs’ rich sweetness is a well-loved pairing with meat and fowl for good reason—namely, they are absolutely delicious together. I like to play up the earthy side and add mushrooms to the mix as well, and finish with a bit of fresh thyme and a squeeze of lemon to brighten things up. The combination tastes like a million bucks but only takes about 30 minutes to pull together, making this dish a weeknight luxury.

I fear I've undersold the chicken, which really is quite crispy-tender and lovely. Use this technique with thighs if you prefer—it works like a charm either way.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Figs & Mushrooms

Serves 2

1          split chicken breast (2 breast portions), skin on, boned
Kosher salt
4          Tbsp. avocado (or other high-heat) oil, divided
1          shallot, minced
1          c. quartered ripe figs
1          c. quartered button mushrooms
1/2        tsp. minced fresh thyme
1/2        lemon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Season chicken breasts on both sides with kosher salt. Heat large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and when oil is very hot and add chicken breasts skin-side-down to the pan. Fry chicken breasts without flipping until skin is nicely golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Flip breasts and transfer pan to oven. Roast chicken for 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165 degrees F. Remove breasts to cutting board to rest.

Set pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add shallot to the pan and sautee, scraping up browned juices, until translucent, about 7 minutes.

Add mushrooms to the pan along with a sprinkle of salt and sautee until browned and tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer mushrooms and shallot to a bowl and keep warm.

Return pan to heat and add figs cut-side-down to the pan. Without stirring, fry the figs for 3 minutes, then gently turn to their other cut side and fry for another 3 minutes without stirring. Add mushrooms back to the pan, as well as the fresh thyme and a generous squeeze of the lemon. Give the pan a quick stir to combine the mushrooms and figs, then pull pan from the heat. Season with salt to taste.

Slice chicken and serve with figs and mushrooms.

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