This week’s recipe comes from our cookbook of the month, the deliciously titled In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite (Hyperion) by Melissa Clark. Sybil Pratt says “the stories that preface each recipe and chapter burble with her love of food, culinary improv and the memories that a dish conjures up”—and I can see plenty of memories being made over plates of the delectable dish described below. Dig in!
Figgy, Piggy Drumsticks and Thighs
8 strips bacon (8 ounces), halved
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
11 or 12 figs, halved or quartered if large
12 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons vermouth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain, but don’t drain the fat from the skillet. Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute or so, until the slices are pale golden. Transfer them to the plate along with the bacon.
2. Rinse the chicken legs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Raise the heat under the skillet to medium-high until the fat begins to smoke, and cook the chicken until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and brown the other side, about 3 minutes.
3. Scatter the figs and thyme over the chicken and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, and stir the vermouth and lemon juice into the skillet, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom (be careful when touching the skillet handle; it will be hot). Place the skillet over medium heat until the juices thicken, about 3 minutes. Pour the juices over the chicken, garnish with the bacon and garlic, and serve.
Recipe from IN THE KITCHEN WITH A GOOD APPETITE by Melissa Clark, published September 7, 2010 by Hyperion. Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved. Available wherever books are sold. Photo credit Matthew Benson.