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Braised Chicken with Dried Figs, Honey and Lemon

I have always been a fan of fresh figs and this summer stumbled across dried ones at my favorite local Turkish shop. I tried them stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in prosciutto baked in the oven. Wow. Simply delicious. So when my favorite Schwabe and I recently travelled to the beautiful Peloponnese region of Greece, and discovered locally grown Kalamata dried figs, I decided to give them another go, but this time with chicken. Dates, figs, apricots…dried fruit tastes great with chicken, right?

We were staying at a beautiful property with a very basic kitchen, so the question was…what can you cook on the stove top (no oven!) that kids and adults alike will enjoy? And what can you make with with basic down-to-earth ingredients for people who love to eat? Local ingredients, nothing fancy, but it better taste great. Well, this turned out to be a pretty impressive and tasty Mediterranean-inspired meal. Chicken with dried figs, honey and lemon make a splendid combination!

The chicken turned out to be succulent awesomeness and the sauce tasted amazing served with zucchini lemon couscous to soak it up.

Couscous

BRAISED CHICKEN WITH DRIED FIGS, HONEY AND LEMON
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:
4 skinless, organic boneless chicken breast halves
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1 1/2 tablespoon liquid honey
10 dried figs, sliced in half
1 organic lemon, quartered
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, garnish

METHOD:
1. Rinse chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

2. Add garlic to the skillet and stir for 30 seconds. Add wine, vinegar, olive oil, honey and bring to boil. Reduce heat, add the figs and lemon; simmer chicken, covered, until just cooked through, turning chicken occasionally, about 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts.

3. Remove then lemon and squeeze juice into the sauce. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with the lemon quarters and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

This dish pairs perfectly with zucchini lemon couscous.

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