Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Figs


I apologize for my absence. I've had a little surgery and have been out of commission for a couple of weeks. It's almost killed me! I guess you don't realize how much you love something until you have an extended absence from it.

It's full on fig season! Most homes in Mississippi have at least a small fig tree either on the property or their neighbor has one close by. We have questionable luck with most fruit trees, but for some reason figs nearly always are plentiful. My neighbor, Jim, has a huge tree in his back yard. He fought off the birds to pick me a gallon of figs. I offered a barter, he bring me the figs, I'd cook him my chicken and fig pasta.

On my first trip to NYC back in 2001, I had a day alone. You can imagine how scary that was for a Mississippi girl new to any big city, especially one where I didn't have a car and needed others to help me find my way. I know how to get around the city now without being afraid. That first day alone I was starving and stopped at the first Italian place outside the Spring Street Station. I sat on the side walk cafe and ordered the special for the day: chicken with figs. I was homesick by that Saturday and figs sounded like home. I had something that wasn't comfort food, but it was an inspiration.

figues chez les porcs

This easy starter translates to: figs in pigs. Wrap each fig in 1/2 a slice of bacon. Arrange in a dish and bake for about 20 minutes at 350. Leave stems on and watch for bacon to begin to firm. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to serve. This is so elegant and unexpected. The sweet and savory are the perfect mix.

For an unexpected Chicken and Fig Pasta

Fry 1lb of bacon. Remove bacon and brown 2 diced chicken breasts and 1 chopped onion. Remove from pan. Add 1/4 stick of butter to bacon drippings. Add 1/4 cup of flour and stir to a blonde roux. To roux, add 3 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of wine. I used red because it was open, white would be fine. Also add 1/4 cup of golden sherry, salt, pepper, and basil. Allow to reduce until thick.

While sauce is reducing. I roasted 20 figs on a char-grill until caramelized and allowed to macerate in balsamic vinegar for 20 minutes. Boil Bowtie pasta until al dente.

To assemble: Add chicken, onions and crumbled bacon to the reduced sauce. Add figs, including vinegar to the sauce. Toss with Pasta and serve warm, with a salad and crusty bread.


pepylepew said...

Enjoyed meeting you & your UBONS team members at Grillin for Life BBQ contest in Madison MS this past weekend. We were the group Parish Porkers from Olive Branch next to you guys, this was my first contest .Congrats to yall for overall champs. Hope to see ya soon , i will have to stop in at Ubons in Yazoo City next time im down that way.

wanda1234 said...

thanks for sharing.....

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