Friday, October 22, 2010

Roasted chicken with bacon, figs, almonds, and thyme

Some of my best ideas I've stolen from other people.

Take this chicken I made the other night. I cobbled together two recipes other people made up, added a few of my own twists--and ta da! a Hungry Dog classic enters the repertoire. Cribbed, but a classic.

Like so many dinners, this one emerged out of necessity, and leftovers. I had some chicken to use. I also had a few random figs lying around, some thyme, and a couple slices of bacon. It didn't take long for my pea brain to realize these ingredients could be dynamite together, especially since they reminded me of two other recipes I'd recently made.

Here's the source material: there's this recipe--a classic I've been making for years, which provided me with the method. And then there was a recipe I made a few weeks ago from Melissa Clark's new book, for chicken roasted with figs and bacon, which I mostly liked but didn't love. (I do, however, love the book, and recommend you check it out.) I decided to combine the cooking method of the first recipe with some of the ingredients of the second, throw in some thyme and sliced almonds and see what happened.

What happened was delicious. Bacon, figs, honey, and almonds are a divine combination, almost dessert-like, except for the bacon. Although, who am I kidding? I wouldn't run from a bacon dessert. Anyhow, I'd really like you to try this one--I think you'll like it--but you'll have to do it fast as figs won't be in season much longer. Feel free to add your own twist and say you invented the whole thing--who am I to judge?

Roasted chicken with bacon, figs, almonds, and thyme

2 chicken breasts, boneless but with skin
2 T. olive oil
1 T. honey
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 figs, quartered
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
2 T. sliced almonds
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

While the oven is heating, turn the chicken breasts skin-side down, drizzle half the honey over them and season with salt and pepper.

When the oven is hot, place the garlic slices in a shallow baking pan that can later accommodate the chicken and toss with 1 T. olive oil. Roast until the garlic just begins to sizzle, about 5 minutes.

Remove pan from oven, push the garlic to the sides, add the chicken, skin side up, and drizzle with remaining honey, salt, and pepper. Scatter bacon, figs, and thyme in pan, and drizzle last tablespoon of olive over the top. Return to oven and roast for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, scatter sliced almonds over the top and return to oven for 10 more minutes. 

Serve with mashed potatoes or polenta.

Serves 2.


  1. My daughter and I made something called Figgy Piggy Game Hens from Gourmet mag. a while back. It was marvelous. (
    The figs caramelized and were fabulous! Perhaps that's the trick.

  2. I {heart} your ability to just combine two recipes and come up with something new! It takes me much longer to figure it out-maybe I'll just let you do all the work?

  3. figs, almonds, and thyme each have strong yet still subtle flavors, and bacon is just salty, greasy goodness. i can definitely see how this would work--well done!

  4. That's the best thing when cooking at home! Just use your own imagination and a little of magic. Wa la... always bring you surprises! haha.... Your classic meal look terrific. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  5. Barbara: I'm pretty sure that gourmet recipe was the inspiration for Melissa Clark's variation--no wonder you thought of it!

    tamilyn: please do--I don't mind a bit :)

    grace: thank you!

    MLS: Thank you so much. Great weekend to you too!

    Sophie: Why thank you!

  6. Hey thats pretty damn good for something that you just kind of put together, very sophisticated and delicious flavours.
    Hope you are having a fantastic weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  7. That combination sounds sensational Hungry Dog! I must say I'm not into fresh figs but roasted like this, I can definitely take. Great idea!

  8. I really wish fig season were longer - it seems like as soon as they're really good and ripe, they disappear! Well done on the kitchen improv, sounds like a great way to make boring old chicken new again!

    p.s. I made the macadamia chicken a few weeks ago, and it was spectacular. Thanks!

  9. Your recipe looks great, don't you just love it when leftovers can be used to make a great dish? I love all the ingredients in this, especially the figs, which are always prone to spoiling in my fridge since I never get through them quickly enough. Thanks for sharing this!

  10. HH: Aw, thank you! Hope you are having a great weekend as well.

    shaz: I know what you mean about fresh figs. I like them but I totally get how someone wouldn't. They are mighty fine roasted though!

    camille: Awesome about the mac chicken!! Now I want to make it again too...

    Connie: Thank you! I know, I can never get through the figs fast enough, for some reason. Nice when you can just chuck 'em in the oven!

  11. what's not to like? bacon, figs, almonds? Love that you recommend serving it with polenta too.

  12. yum chicken dessert! sounds kind of moroccan, a very intriguing combination...

  13. agrigirl: It is a pretty dreamy combination...

    foodhoe: yeah, kind of like a tagine maybe??

  14. Very interesting..I always buy figs and then not eat them and they go bad....will have to try this next time I have figs I dont know what to do with.

  15. What a winning combination figs, thyme and bacon. I am especially falling over myself with the figs and bacon. God, that is an awesome flavor pairing.
    My fig tree has gone to sleep for the season (sigh) but, there is next season.
    Btw, always love your recipes.

  16. ALY: Give it a go. I too end up with figs and no purpose. This is a good one.

    Velva: I know, figs and bacon, what could go wrong with that? Sorry about your fig tree. :(

  17. Nothing beats a great roast chicken. And one with bacon, figs, almonds and thyme just has to be spectacular.

  18. CJ: Agreed--roast chicken is the best!

  19. I made this tonight but I didn't have any figs - it was still delicious. You can really taste the thyme, almond, and garlic, and the bacon is a great way to keep the chicken moist. Thanks!

  20. Stacy: I am so happy you tried it with good results!

  21. You did it again -- I have all the ingredients on hand for this -- I am making this! I was wondering what to do with those figs.