The good news is that I feel like I'm starting to get my groove back in the kitchen. My new cookbooks have brought me some much needed inspiration and I'm back in the kitchen whipping up new recipes left and right. I feel inspired! I feel ready to conquer whatever a recipe throws at me -- except for maybe sous vide, which I just don't get.
This new book, with a French twist, promises to quickly become a favorite of mine as well. The recipes all sound so good and they're pretty easy which is just a bonus, as far as I'm concerned. And let's face it, the slow cooker isn't the most gourmet of appliances but these recipes make it seem as though it just might be.
This recipe for Chicken with Figs is good enough to serve to guests. It's especially nice if you know you're going to have a busy day and you want to look like you slaved away for hours. The fig sauce takes just minutes to make at the very end and makes for a very elegant finish.
Now that I'm back in the cooking mood, I might just give that sous vide cooking a try. Until then, I think I'll stick with my slow cooker.
Recipe: Chicken with Figs
The French Slow Cooker. Michele Scicolone, 2012
12 bone in chicken thighs, skin removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium shallots, sliced
2 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
12 dried Black Mission Figs
Sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter half of the shallots in a large slow cooker. Place the chicken in the cooker. Tuck the bay leaves between the chicken pieces. Scatter the remaining shallots and the thyme all over.
Stir together the wine, vinegar, and honey and pour the mixture over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, place the figs in hot water to cover for at least 30 minutes. Drain the figs.
Remove the chicken pieces to a serving platter and cover to keep warm. Discard the bay leaves. Pour the cooking juices into a small skillet and add the figs. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook over high heat until reduced and slightly syrupy.
Pour the sauce and figs over the chicken and serve hot.