I tried out this recipe to see if I wanted to serve it for Rosh Hashanah. Leeks and figs are customarily served in many Sephardic homes for the new year, being both in season and symbolic for the holiday. (Leeks are to "cut off your enemies." Heh.) I adapted it from an old Cooking Light recipe. Easy to put together, it was just a bit bland upon first tasting. However, it was much better the next day, when the flavors had blended. The wine's acidity tempers the sweetness of the leeks, figs and honey. A winner!
Chicken Braised with Leeks and Figs
serves 4-8, depending on appetites and size of chicken thighs
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups coarsely chopped leek (about 4 large)
1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
6 parsley sprigs
1 thyme sprig
15 fresh figs, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Wash and slice the leeks. (Cut off roots and green tops, slice down the middle, pull apart and wash away any grit inside).
Cut leeks into rough slices.
Put the butter or margarine in a large skillet. Heat, then add the leeks and cook gently until just softened but not browned. Remove from skillet.
Place the flour, salt and pepper into a plastic ziplock bag. Add the chicken, and shake around so each piece is lightly coated. You may want to do this in two batches. Put the oil into the skillet, and turn the heat to medium high. Brown the chicken, making sure each side is golden brown. (You may want to add a bit more butter to the skillet before putting the chicken in)
Meanwhile, mix the wine, vinegar and honey together. Add the leeks back to the skillet, and then the wine mixture. Add the thyme and parsley sprigs.Bring to a simmer, then cover and let simmer 30 minutes, turning the chicken once.
Add the figs, and cook another 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Refrigerate for a few hours before serving, reheat, and sprinkle with parsley and serve over (homemade)rice pilaf, egg noodles, or cous cous.