‘Blast From the Past Recipe’

Pot Roast Chicken with Figs (Serves 4-6)

This is the perfect autumnal roast, so I thought I should remind you of it – I first shared it in September 2020, so it may have slipped your mind!…

I  love pot roasting chicken as once in the oven it just looks after itself. It is less fatty and messy to cook than a traditional roast, plus the juices caught in the bottom of the pot create a lovely sauce and the chicken comes out perfectly moist! This recipe with the figs is rather luxurious, and naturally very tasty. Any leftover figs are great the next day cold (and sticky!) with prosciutto or other cold meats – what a beautiful lunch!! I found this recipe in Diana Henry’s wonderful cookbook ‘A Bird in the Hand’, which concentrates purely on chicken recipes – it is a very comforting cookbook. I like to serve this dish with either Perfect Roast Potatoes or Concetta’s Potatoes (recipes here)

1½ tablespoons olive oil

1.8kg chicken

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons Armagnac

125ml dry white wine

125ml chicken stock

4 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

12 -18 figs, stalks snipped, halved

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

20g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, heat the oil in a large casserole dish (with a lid) and brown the chicken all over.
  2. Pour off most of the fat and fry the onion until soft and golden.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the Armagnac, scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove all the sticky bits, then add the wine, stock, thyme and bay leaf. Season with black pepper.
  4. Return the chicken and any juices that have run out of it. Cover, put in a preheated oven, 180’c fan, for 70 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes. Baste every so often
  5. Remove the Chicken from the pan and keep warm. Skim off the fat from the cooking juices and strain into a frying pan. Boil to reduce them, until they become slightly syrupy.
  6. Reduce the heat and add the figs, vinegar and honey. Cook for about 4 minutes.
  7. Remove the figs with a slotted spoon and whisk in the cubed butter to make a rich and shiny sauce.
  8. Serve the Chicken, either whole or jointed, on a warm platter with the figs surrounding it and the sauce in a jug on the side

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