Sunday, May 31, 2009

Braised Chicken with Cilantro and Figs

Braised Chicken with Cilantro and Figs

I love figs added to savory dishes. The natural sweetness from figs surprisingly compliments poultry or cured meats very well and the sweet flavor is also enhanced when it’s cooked. I got today’s dish idea from my co-worker who brought a similar dish to the potluck sometime ago. She cooked some chicken thighs with olives and prunes in cilantro based sauce, chicken tagine sort of dish, just not cooked in a tagine. The succulent chicken was so tender that it literally fell off the bone.

Fig Tree

What I did differently for today’s recipe besides replacing prunes with figs was that I braised in chicken broth, which ended up in a totally different dish from what I originally planned. That’s why I can’t really compare and say which was better, but both dishes were so good that they have been permanently added to my collection of everyday cooking recipes. One thing that I may change next time is to use green olives instead of Kalamata olives. I was just too lazy to make a trip to a store to get green olives.

The picture above is a fig tree growing in my neighborhood.

Recipe of the Day
Braised Chicken with Cilantro and Figs

Braised Chicken with Cilantro and Figs

Ingredients (serves 4):
8 chicken drumsticks or thighs
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 can chicken broth
1/2 preserved lemon, thinly sliced, seeded, and rinsed
1/2 c. cilantro

1/2 c. olives
12 dried figs, cut in half lengthwise
3 Tbsp capers
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium high. Sauté chicken, placing skin side down first, and then brown all sides. Reduce heat to medium low, add garlic and onions and continue to cook for about 10 minutes (Stir occasionally to avoid burning them). Stir in chicken broth, cilantro and preserved lemon. Bring it to simmer, add olives, figs and capers, cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and salt and pepper to adjust the taste. Sprinkle some fresh cilantro before serving.


  1. This is an interesting idea? We love figs and the idea of the conserved lemons and cilantro would be a great combination? This may be a favorite in your region? but here it would be exotic? We will do this one for sure. Thanks, s

  2. I would say that it's still considered exotic in where I live. But all the ingredients are available in most places and certainly in California. You can make your own preserved lemons - all you need is lemons and salt. ;)

    Recipe from 101 Cookbooks/Chez Panisse:

  3. I love figs, and this dish sounds stupendous. Will have to give it a try when I get some time to cook

  4. >oysterculture
    Thanks! Hope you will enjoy. :)

  5. yummyyyy... I love the marriage of flavours. Nice scrumptious picts too!