Yield
4

Dried figs are poached in port to make a luscious Portuguese-inspired sauce. Ruby port provides the best color, but tawny will also taste good.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat the oven to 375°. Pierce each fig three or four times with a paring knife. In a small stainless-steel saucepan, combine the figs, water, the 2/3 cup port, and the lemon zest. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the zest and reserve the poaching liquid. Cut the figs in half.

Step 2

Meanwhile, coat the chicken with the oil and arrange the pieces, skin-side up, in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon port and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Top each piece of chicken with a piece of the butter. Cook until the breasts are just done, about 30 minutes. Remove the breasts and continue to cook the legs until done, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the roasting pan from the oven; return the breasts to the pan.

Step 3

Heat the broiler. Broil the chicken until the skin is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Step 4

Pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan over moderate heat and add the fig-poaching liquid. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Boil until reduced to approximately 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Add the figs, any accumulated juices from the chicken, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Step 5

Menu Suggestion: A green vegetable, such as steamed broccoli, makes a quick and easy side dish.

Step 6

Wine Recommendation: A Portuguese red wine such as a Dão, combining soft texture with full flavor, is a geographical match. The savory sauce would also go nicely with a fruity cabernet sauvignon or merlot from either California or Australia.

Quick From Scratch Chicken

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