Sure, I could have done something super fancy, like a fig tart, or a pork loin in a port-fig sauce… but for this challenge, I decided to stick to my guns and go with my favorite of food preparations: the sandwich. As I’ve mentioned before, I heart sandwiches. So, I decided for the best-fig-recipe contest I might as well incorporate figs into one of my favorite sandwiches- the Chicken Charlie.
I decided that I couldn’t think of a better way to use figs than in the ol’ CC sandwich- aptly (and boringly) renamed the Fall Fig and Chicken Sandwich for the contest. I also wanted to jazz it up a little, so I threw in a balsamic marinade for the bird, and a nutty blue cheese spread on the bread. Since there was so much goin’ on with this sandwich, I left the honey and mustard out of the onions, but they were still kick-ass and caramelized.
The sandwiches, served on chewy ciabatta bread, were pretty great. I definitely did ol’ Chicken Charlie proud with this one. Evan had a “tummy-ache” (or he’s afraid of eating things that grow on trees or out of the ground), so I ate my sandwich and half of his. The next morning, I mixed up the leftover goodies into an awesome chicken and fig salad sandwich for work!
Once again, delightful as it was, my recipe was not a finalist in the Food 52 challenge…but… It got a nod as an Editor’s Pick! WooHOO! I’m one step closer!
The Figgy Chicken Charlie
2 chicken breasts
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion- sliced in rings
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon peach or apricot jam
1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
6-8 figs- stemmed and halved (dried for chewier texture, fresh for softer texture-both work great)
1 ciabatta loaf (or 2-4 rolls)
spring greens salad mix
1 crisp pear- thinly sliced
For Chicken: Mix together worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper- Marinate chicken in mixture for up to an hour. Grill chicken on medium-high grill until cooked. Slice thin.
For Carmelized Onions: Heat 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil with 1 tablespoon butter. Add onions and cook over medium heat until golden and delicious. Remove onions from pan but leave remaining oil/butter on medium heat for figs.
For Figs: Add figs face down to hot oil/butter mixture. sautee until golden and chewy (1-2 minutes).
For Spread: Stir together cream cheese, blue cheese, nuts, jam, rosemary and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Assembly: Heavily spread the cream cheese mixture over both sides of bread. Pile high with chicken, pears, onions, and figs. ENJOY!