Monday, August 30, 2010

Cookbooking: Braised Chicken Thighs with Figs

It was a wonderful Sunday of food.

Big M and I started the day with Brunch at Deacon's Corner with Wendy, Gabs and baby Rocket. This post would have been about the deliciousness of that meal, but I forgot my camera. I will just have to go back next week! Maybe I will take my Mom to breakfast on Main and Powell... Also happy that I didn't wreck the baby when I was in charge of him for 2 minutes, phew.

On the way home we stopped a the Hastings Donald's Market for some groceries. On impulse I bought some fresh figs! I have never cooked with figs before. The neighbour has a fig tree in their backyard that I have been eyeing enviously. Some midnight urban foraging maybe?

Walmart was running a special of 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs for $10.00 so I did some cookbook searching and came up with Braised Chicken Thighs with Figs and Bay Leaves on the Cooking Light website. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect recipe!

I don't have bay leaves because frankly, they weird me out. A quick search of the Internet suggested that thyme is a good substitute for bay leaves. I had to laugh because couple of websites told me that me that the substitute for bay leaves was dried bay leaves. Thanks, helpful.

With the help of the new prep bowls I bought from Ikea (meatballs! arg!) some quick mise en place and I was ready to go.

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The recipe called for the meal to be served with couscous, but I didn't have any so I went for the quinoa. Another first for me. It had been sitting in the cupboard forever. The recipe on the box called for one cup of quinoa and 2 cups water. They failed to mention that this will amount will serve at least 8 people as a side dish! I will remember the 1:2 ratio for next time and cut down the amount I make. I cooked it with fresh squeezed lemon juice in the water ratio and finished it with fresh parsley and tomatoes from my garden! PS. Let me know if you want some parsley because I have A LOT.

For the chicken, I reduced the cooking time as I only used 4 thighs instead of 8 and served it with some steamed green beans. I think we must be in the height of green bean season because the beans from Donald's were huge! I had to snap them in half to fit in the steamer.

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Holy Cramoley, this was good! The combination of the figs and the honey in the wine made a thick, jelly like sauce that tasted fantastic. I am going to serve this at my next dinner party, it was that good.

I decided to fancy it up, since it was a Sunday Dinner, and had a wine spritzer and dessert. I even cracked out the linen napkins and fancy TV tray.

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I have been craving sugar-free jello since my co-worker Jenny joined with JC so I "volumized" it and had a parfait made from sugar-free lemon jello, cut strawberries and reduced fat whipped cream. I made this while the chicken was cooking and served it in a highball glass.

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Dinner was then enjoyed with 2 episodes of Project Runway. A Perfect Sunday.

Who wants to go for brunch at Deacon's Corner next week? Say around 11am on Sunday. See you there.

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