A few days ago, I bought some figs only to discover they weren’t the juicy, tender figs from the Nasik belt, but strange oversized, over-ripe figs of a kind I had never encountered before. I made myself eat one, but decided I didn’t like the taste enough to eat them “au naturel.” Dessert was also out of the question since the figs weren’t sweet enough.
As I wondered what to do with the figs, I suddenly remembered a Master Chef episode where the main ingredient to be used were figs and one of the participants (Peter Vickery) had made a delectable chicken with figs – a Moroccan preparation. He won that round. So I went online and looked around and found a similar recipe on Mike’s Table, a foodie’s blog. I didn’t have most of the ingredients, so I made do with what I had and here’s my version of Moroccan Chicken with Figs.
600 gms boneless chicken (pre-marinated with juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp of garlic-ginger paste)
A chunk of butter (I used Nutralite)
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 tbsp Flour
1 bunch of spring onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup white wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I had none, so I used regular vinegar)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the chicken into small-medium sized pieces, depending on your preference. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the butter and oil. While the pan heats up, coat the chicken pieces liberally with flour, seasoning with salt and pepper. Place them in your pan and brown them by letting them cook undisturbed for 5 minutes before flipping to brown the other side.
While the chicken is cooking, crush the garlic cloves, chop the spring onions into 2-3” pieces and chop the figs in the same size as the chicken pieces. Once the chicken is browned, set it aside. Toss the spring onion and garlic into the same pan and sauté them for 3-5 minutes. Pour in the wine, scraping off all the brown bits and mixing well with the spring onions and garlic. Bring the wine and spring onions mix to a boil before adding the chicken to it. Pour in ¼ cup of water (or chicken stock if you have some), cover the pan and cook on medium heat for a while.
After 10-15 minutes, add the remaining ingredients (figs, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, fennel seeds). Stir the ingredients well, cover the pan and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Make sure you keep stirring the ingredients so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
Serve hot with steamed rice or garlic bread.