Pancetta--Italian unsmoked bacon found in the deli of many supermarkets--adds saltiness to this dish. If you can't find it, substitute lean cooked bacon. If fresh figs are available, stir them in just before serving, omitting the dried figs. Serve over basmati rice in rimmed soup bowls.
3/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced onion
1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds), skinned
1/4 cup tawny port
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
12 dried Calimyrna figs, quartered
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and pancetta; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from pan.
Combine garam masala, sugar, salt, and pepper; sprinkle evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Add port and vinegar; cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add onion mixture and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Add figs; cover and simmer 8 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in parsley and chopped thyme. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Wow, this meal had a lot of unique flavors. Delicious, though. I found garam masala at a specialty grocery store. Couldn't find it at Kroger. The figs were a nice touch. I will probably make this sometime again. (To use up that garam masala!) Step-by-step photos on my blog: http://me-myself-and-pie.blogspot.com/2009/10/chicken-with-pancetta-and-figs.html
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