Fig Stuffed Roast Chicken with Honey, Shallots, Thyme & Barbera
Chef Carolyn Kumpe
2 tbsp walnut or extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp local honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 chicken, about 3 ½lbs
1 bunch fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic, peeled
8 shallots, peeled
2 baskets fresh figs, hard stems removed or 2 cups dried with hard stems removed
1 tbsp unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Barbera
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
2 tbsp Fig Balsamic or Balsamic Vinegar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp honey and set aside. Remove giblets, heart, liver and neck from the chicken`s cavity. Season chicken with sea salt and pepper, both inside and out. Reserve a few sprigs of thyme for garnish and set aside. Insert garlic cloves and ½ of the thyme into the cavity. Stuff as many figs into the cavity as possible. Tie the chicken`s legs together with butcher`s twine. Tuck wings under back. Place chicken, breast side up, on greased rack in roasting pan. Roast chicken in preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Brush chicken with olive oil-honey mixture. Add remaining figs, shallots, and thyme to the roasting pan. Stir the figs and shallots to coat them evenly with the pan drippings. Continue roasting until juices run clear, when chicken is pierced and meat thermometer inserted in thigh registers 165°F about 30-40 minutes. Transfer chicken, figs and shallots from the roasting pan to a warmed ovenproof platter. Tent platter with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
While the chicken is resting, skim the fat from the pan juices in roasting pan. Put the pan juices in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, whisking on medium heat. Whisk in Barbera. Cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add stock, Balsamic vinegar, and remaining honey. Simmer, whisking, until smooth, slightly thickened and glossy. Taste sauce and season with salt, pepper, honey and a few drops of Balsamic if desired.
Cut twine from chicken legs. Remove figs and garlic cloves from cavity. Warm all figs, garlic cloves and shallots in the sauce on low heat about 2 minutes. Carve chicken and place onto warmed platter. Spoon warmed fig sauce on top of the carved meat. Garnish with thyme. Serve with more Barbera, of course.
Gluten Free Option:
Omit the flour in recipe. In a small bowl, whisk 1 tbsp of cornstarch into ½ cup cold water. Whisk into pan juices and continue with recipe.