I hate cold weather. That crisp air that evokes happy thoughts of apple cider, sweaters, Kennedy-esque football games and bonfires? Screw that. I spend most of my time in cold places huddled up by the nearest source of warmth, feeling slighted by the cruel, cruel whims of the universe. This might explain why I moved to Southeast Asia.
CHICKEN WITH FIGS
There is one thing I like about fall: fresh figs. Figs are awesome. They are curious-looking orbs of delicious and I will hear nothing against them. They are even better if you braise them with chicken, honey, sweet onions, and a dash of vinegar. You can thank Judy Rogers of San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe for this innovation, but I’ll walk you through it all the same. I’m a benevolent person. Also, a cold person who wishes like hell she owned more fluffy socks with moose on them, or whatever.
YOU WILL NEED:
Onions (Sweet yellow preferably)
Fresh figs – brown or green, whatever.
Dry white vermouth
Chicken stock (About a cup and a half. Depends on how big your chicken is).
1. Get some chicken. Good chicken. This is especially salient if you’re a California elitist who agonizes over GMOs a lot, but take it from this hot-tub liberal: the good organic stuff does taste better. A whole chicken. Keep the back and guts and make stock. Don’t be a wuss.
2. Get some olive oil and a big pan you can braise things in. Heat up some olive oil, and saute the chicken until it’s browned. This would be a good time to slice up your onions. NOT chopped.
3. Once the chicken looks adequately browned, add enough chicken stock to mostly cover the meat. This is not exactly a science. Swirl in a tablespoon of honey to taste. Then add 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.
4. Nestle the sliced onions in among the meat. You can also add a few of the figs at this time if you are feeling sassy.
5. Braise on low heat for a couple of hours. You want the meat to be falling apart. About halfway through the cooking time, add the rest of the figs.
6. Serve with: polenta, mashed potatoes, blended cauliflower, whatever floats your boat. I like to make broccoli rabe or broccoli stir-fried with mustard and butter with this.