Chicken with Port and Figs


  • 8 dried California figs, stems removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon port wine
  • 2 strips lemon zest, about 3 inches long
  • 1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into four pieces


Heat the oven to 375°F.

Pierce each fig 3 or 4 times with a paring knife.

In a small stainless-steel saucepan, combine figs, water, 2/3 cup port, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Discard zest; drain and reserve the poaching liquid. Cut figs in half.

Meanwhile, coat chicken with oil and arrange the pieces, skin-side up, in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon port and season with salt and pepper. Top each piece of chicken with a piece of the butter.

Cook until the breasts are just done, about 30 minutes. Remove the breasts and continue to cook the legs until done, about 5 minutes longer. Remove roasting pan from oven; return the breasts to the pan.

Heat the broiler. Broil chicken until the skin is golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a warm plate.

Pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan over moderate heat and add the fig-poaching liquid. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Boil until reduced to approximately 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Add the figs, any accumulated juices from the chicken, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Serve immediately.

Recipe Courtesy: California Fresh Fig Growers Assn.

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