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Braised Chicken with Asparagus, Sugar Plums and Dried Figs

It’s Sunday and thus daughter-dinner-day. (Who doesn’t like alliteration?). Anyway, she suggested Tuna Mornay, which is fine, but she hasn’t quite mastered that yet (which reminds me, I need to teach her to make a bechamel sauce).

I suggested that we might do something else since we had plenty of time before dinner. I’d bought fresh asparagus spears yesterday and so we looked through various asparagus recipes but none really caught our eye.

It was then that I thought a nice braised dish would be good and since asparagus goes so well with chicken we decided on braised chicken fillets. Now since we were doing chicken, I figured it’d be nice to branch out a bit and include some less than usual ingredients for a change. Thus we have a fairly fruity recipe.

Oh and I still don’t have a braising dish (although I did see one in Myers the other day, a Breville cast-iron/enamel dish for $229), so it’s a combination casserole / frypan braising method.


h2. Ingredients.

* 500 g of skinless chicken fillets (thigh, breast or both)
* 2 large carrots
* 5 dried figs (I was serving five, so one for each serving)
* a quarter cup of currents
* 6 sugar plums, cut in half lengthwise and seed removed
* 2 Tablespoons of butter
* 200 ml of white wine
* some brandy or cognac
* 2 cups of chicken stock
* salt and pepper
* a bunch of asparagus spears (in our case 12)

h2. Method.

We used a combination of three thigh fillets and two breast fillets. Since the breast fillets are larger than the thighs (in thickness), remove the tenderloins and slice the thighs in half lengthwise so you get two fillets about the same thickness as the thigh fillets.

Peel and chop the carrots such that they are about 3 or 4 mm thick.

In a shallow casserole dish, place a little olive oil and spread around. Put the figs evenly over the bottom and sprinkle a layer of currents over the lot. Gently pour some brandy (or cognac) onto the dried figs.

Now in a fry pan, melt the butter and slightly brown the carrots. Tip the carrots over the figs and currants, trying not to lose the butter.

Now brown both sides of the chicken fillets, seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine and reduce until it’s almost all gone, then transfer the chicken to the casserole dish.

Arrange the half sugar plums around the chicken pieces. Pour in the stock and cover with the asparagus spears. Then cover the lot with aluminium foil.

Bake at 175 C for 1 hour, then turn down to 150 C for a further 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, set aside the asparagus spears, cover and keep warm. Transfer everything else to the fry pan and reduce over medium heat until you have almost no sauce left (but not too much reduction, as you want some sauce to pour over the meat).

Serve and place the asparagus spears on top.

posted to Australian,Recipes @ 7:50 pm

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Individual Stuffed Dampers | home | Rogan Josh (variant) with Coconut Rice