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Herb and Garlic Chicken with Roasted Figs

Mary Anne here. This cold weather – at least in the Northeast – just won’t seem to quit. So while I’d much prefer sharing my favorite spring recipes, instead, I thought I’d share one last farewell to winter. Realistically, this dish works well during any season, but there’s just something about the sweet and savory flavor that screams cozy winter kitchen. For the tastiest, juiciest results, this recipe needs to be marinated overnight, so plan a day ahead.

Also, be sure to serve this dish with crusty French bread to sop up the juices. If you are preparing this for just 1 or 2 people, it is easily cut in half but I recommend making the entire recipe — the leftovers are amazing. I think if you plan to make the whole batch, buy the fresh herbs, as you will use them. In a subsequent post, I’ll include a Carrot Cake recipe that complements this dish because not only is it simple to prepare and reheats beautifully, it also doubles as a light-on-the-wallet feast for entertaining!

Herb and Garlic Chicken with Roasted Figs
Serves 8

Mariel’s note: I love adding whole (un-pitted) kalamata and green olives to this recipe. Just pop ’em in during the last 40 minutes of roasting. They add a wonderful saltiness that offsets the sweetness of the figs.

Ingredients for the marinade:
½ cup fresh chopped oregano – $1.49
½ cup fresh chopped thyme – $1.49
4 Bay leaves – from stock
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely minced or pureed – from stock
Zest of 4 lemons – $2.00
1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt – from stock
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – from stock
1½ cups (about 10 ounces) dried whole figs, halved – $4.99
1/3 cup red wine vinegar – from stock
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil – from stock

Ingredients for the chicken:
5lbs. chicken pieces – $21.01
½ cup dark brown sugar – from stock
½ cup dry white wine – from stock

The garnish:
½ cup chopped parsley – $1.49
¾ cup roasted pecans – $4.99
Grand Total assuming stocked kitchen: $37.46
Cost per Serving: $4.68

1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a ceramic or non-reactive bowl.  Arrange chicken in a large glass baking dish and spread the marinade evenly over the chicken.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. One or two hours before cooking, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and allow to return to room temperature.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4.  Pour the white wine around the chicken and sprinkle with dark brown sugar.  Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking about 40 to 50 minutes, basting frequently.

4. Chicken is done when juices run clear after piercing a thigh.

5. Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and spoon some of the juices over top.  Garnish with fresh parsley and roasted pecans.  Serve the remaining juices at the table.