Seared chicken which is then finished by lightly braised grapes and figs in this chicken recipe.
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Michael Chiarello, Emmy-winning host of Food Network’s Easy Entertaining, left television after becoming a star and opened another (critically acclaimed) restaurant in Yountville, California in the heart of the Napa Valley called Bottega in 2009.
On one Napa Valley episode of The Barefoot Contessa, Michael Chiarello joined Ina Garten in the kitchen to prepare a dish called Chicken a la Vendemmia. Michael says it is a family recipe from southern Italy made at harvest time of the grapes.
I love incorporating fruit into savory dishes like these lamb chops with Holiday Grapes and cherry reduction that I usually make around the Holidays (which is when the Holiday grapes are in season) but I’ve been know to make this dish at other times and just substitute regular red seedless grapes.
This recipe for Chicken with Figs and Grapes is inspired by Chiarello’s Chicken a la Vendemmia.
Chicken with Figs and Grapes
Yields 2 servings
2 cups seedless red grapes (I used Champagne grapes)
2 large boneless chicken breasts
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
6 fresh or frozen Mission figs, quartered
Rosemary, for garnish
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Puree 1 cup grapes in a blender then strain through a sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Season the chicken on all sides with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and brown well on all sides, about seven minutes total. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the chicken is done throughout, 12 to 15 minutes.
Place the chicken on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Return skillet to stove over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened. Add rosemary and stir for 30 seconds. Then add grape juice and chicken stock and simmer briskly until reduced by half. Toss in grapes and figs and stir until warm through.
Spoon the sauce over chicken. Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary. Serve immediately.