Fig Stuffed Roast Chicken with Honey, Shallots, Thyme & Red Wine
Roasted chicken is the mother of all comfort food. Simple to prepare, it should be in everyone’s culinary repertoire. There are a hundreds of ways to roast a chicken. However, if you are a fig fan, the end result of this recipe is truly spectacular. The aromas that fill your kitchen from the slow roasting, honey lacquered chicken, caramelizing figs and shallots, plus savory thyme are most appealing. Do we dare say seductive? Luckily this dish works with either fresh or dried figs, so it can be prepared year round. Generally, most people serve chicken with white wine. Not with this dish. It requires The Cleaver Red Blend for cooking and serving.
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon 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. If you are using dried figs, try to stuff all of them into the cavity. Tie the chicken’s legs together with butcher‘s twine. Tuck wings under back. Place chicken, breast side up in a roasting pan. Roast chicken in preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes.
Brush chicken with olive oil-honey mixture. Add remaining fresh 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 45-55 minutes. Transfer roasted chicken, figs and shallots from the 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 the wine. Bring to a boil. Cook on medium high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add stock, Balsamic vinegar, and 1 Tablespoon honey. Bring to a boil. Cook on medium high heat, whisking, until smooth, slightly thickened and glossy, about 5-10 minutes.
To make the sauce Gluten Free, omit the flour in recipe. In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into ½ cup cold water. Whisk into pan juices and continue with recipe.
Cut twine from chicken legs. Remove figs and garlic cloves from cavity, discarding the thyme. Warm all figs, garlic cloves and shallots in the sauce on low heat about 2 minutes. Taste sauce and season with salt, pepper, honey and a few drops of Balsamic if desired. Carve chicken and place onto warmed platter. Spoon warmed fig sauce on top of the carved meat. Garnish with thyme.