It’s been awhile since I’ve written a new blog… but we shouldn’t dwell on this fact. Let’s instead dwell on the fact that autumn weather has finally arrived in south Florida and, finally, nearing the end of October, we are ready to enjoy the richly flavored foods that make this time of the year wonderful.
Yes, this is a better place to shift our focus.
What could be a more fitting dish to gather the attention than – Pan-Roasted Chicken with Dried Figs, Green Olives, Red Onion, and Thyme. Roasting anything automatically evokes feelings of comfort and warmth. Chicken is a most accommodating host to absorb flavors. Dried figs provide lush sweetness and they soften during the cooking process. Green olives bring briny saltiness that reel in the sweetness of the fig. Red onion, visually more appealing than its white counterpart, serves as the mediator gently taking the best from sweet fig and salty olive, bolstered by garlic, and mellowing into savory umami. Thyme, lovely in so many ways, is interchangeable with any other hearty herb. Rosemary and Sage will both work. A collection of all three herbs will work… as echoed by Simon and Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair.
A word about Roasting Meat, Poultry, and Fish: All will taste incredibly better; all will be considerably moister; and all will cost significantly cheaper if you leave the bones in the meat and leave the skin attached. Period. End of argument. So don’t ruin this dish with boneless, skinless chicken.
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Dried Figs, Green Olives, Red Onion, and Thyme
serves 4 – 6
1 – 3# fryer chicken, cut into 8 – 10 pieces
8 – 10 dried figs, trim away tough stem
1 c green olives, with or without pits
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 8 – 10 wedges
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 c chicken stock
2 T olive oil
fresh thyme sprigs, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Add chicken to a large bowl; season chicken with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and half of the thyme sprigs; drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; in batches, sear chicken on each side, starting with the skin side down, until handsomely browned; remove from skillet and set aside; repeat until all chicken is seared;
After chicken is complete, add figs, olives, onion wedges, and sliced garlic to the skillet; toss lightly to coat in the oil (resulting from searing the chicken)
Return the chicken to the pan; nestling the pieces between the onions; add chicken stock; and scatter the remaining thyme sprigs over the pan
Remove skillet from the stove; place in the preheated oven; roast until chicken is completely done basting once with the pan juices, approximately 25 – 30 minutes
You can serve this dish with anything from rice pilaf, bulgur wheat pilaf; roast or mashed potatoes; or even a simple crusty loaf of bread and a seasonal appropriate salad (referencing my love/hate relationship with kale salad – a rant for another time).
I wanted to end this post thanking readers (read new subscribers) that have found their way to the blog and those (read older subscribers) who have sent me emails regarding blog updates. I could not figure a clever way to include this without an awkward sentence… so…. Life gets in the way of living sometimes; but, I will try not to stay away too long. Awkwardness complete… now go roast chicken with bones and skin intact.
always in good T.A.S.T.E – cause you gottatastethis!