Many will have access to fresh figs in September, so this might be a dish to
consider for Rosh Hashanah. The recipe appeared a couple years ago in a column
by Zillah Bahar in the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. This
Mediterranean-style dish is from "The Elegant Peasant" by Marguerite Thomas (St.
Martin's Press, 1986). Bahar writes: "The combination of the fruit and fresh
basil is disarming, yet it makes complete sense on the palate."
CHICKEN WITH FRESH FIGS
2 boneless chicken breasts, about 1-1/2 lbs.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup port
2 Tbs. minced fresh basil
4 fresh figs, cut lengthwise into quarters
Cut chicken breasts in half and remove all the skin and fat. Cover each piece
with wax paper or plastic wrap and pound them with a kitchen mallet or other
heavy object (such as a sturdy tumbler) until they are about 1/2- inch thick.
Add olive oil to a skillet. Add the chicken and cook over medium heat for about
2 minutes, or until chicken turns white on the bottom. Turn and cook on the
other side for another couple of minutes. Add white wine, then cover skillet and
simmer 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken to a platter and reserve. Raise heat under skillet and boil
contents, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half. Add port and basil
and continue cooking over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the
liquid has slightly reduced.
Return chicken breasts to pan, reheat thoroughly, then arrange them on a
platter. Garnish with quartered figs and pour sauce all over.
Advanced preparation: Chicken may be cooked an hour or two in advance, then
reheated and garnished with figs at the last minute.
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