This is the very definition of a winning weeknight chicken dish: quick, sweet and sour, a little something different. Keep it in mind for when figs are in season. The fruit can be replaced with in-season plums or apricots.
At the market, we found fig spread near the specialty cheeses, with other fruit jams and jellies.
Lime and Fig Chicken
Serve with potatoes. Adapted from “Feel Good Food: Wholefood Recipes for Happy, Healthy Living” by Tony Chiodo.
4 dried figs
⅓ cup hot water
4 or 5 limes
Leaves from 2 stems mint
Leaves from 2 stems cilantro
3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1¼ pounds total; reserve any tenderloins for another use)
Kosher or coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup fig jam or fig spread
Stem figs and cut into quarters. Place in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand while you prep other ingredients.
Cut the limes in half. Squeeze to yield 1/3 cup juice. Coarsely chop the mint and cilantro.
Trim off and discard visible fat from the chicken. Use a sharp knife to butterfly the thick part of each breast half to even out the meat (do not cut all the way through). Place the halves between two sheets of plastic and lightly pound to a thickness of ½ to ¾ inch. Lightly season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Cut each half into 4 strips.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of the chicken and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.
Add the lime juice to the skillet, stirring to dislodge any browned bits, then stir in the jam. Drain the figs and add figs to the skillet. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring until there are no lumps. Add chicken. Cook until warmed, chicken is completely done and coated with sauce.
Serve, spooning the sauce on top. Garnish with mint and cilantro.