Hello! It is NATIONAL FIG WEEK!!! For those of you who think that the only good thing about figs is found in FIG NEWTONS, hold on to your hat, because every day this week I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes using this naturally sweet fruit!
When I think of figs, I naturally think of one of my favorite books, The Bell Jar. Chapter 7 talks about figs:
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet. – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 7
I know we associate autumn with all things orange – pumpkins, cinnamon (okay, that’s brown) – but there are also some purples to consider when doing your holiday cooking and baking. Here is fig recipe number one:
FIG AND LEMON CHICKEN (serves 6)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. Splenda brown sugar
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 lbs. dried figs
1 sliced lemon
12 chicken thighs
salt to taste
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, Splenda brown sugar, vinegar and water; set aside.
Place figs and lemon slices in the bottom of an 11 x 16-inch baking dish. Arrange chicken thighs on top, then pour vinegar mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with salt and dried parsley.
Bake for 50 minutes, basting frequently. Turn figs over if they begin to burn.
Remove chicken from baking dish with slotted spoon onto serving platter. Skim fat from juices and pour over chicken or put in gravy boat.
Garnish chicken with fresh parsley.
Serve and enjoy!
Note: We always take the skin off our chicken before baking it. I know… I know – but it makes it healthier. The good news is, with this recipe – it doesn’t matter if the skin is on the chicken or not – it’s so delicious you won’t miss the skin. 🙂