#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 3: Figs, dates and fruits of my labour

Chicken with roasted figs

Call it the case of the misidentified fruit.

In deciding the ingredient of the day, I saw the bulk-bin plastic bag of dried fruits and my brain said, “Figs.”

Recipe research ensued and I located this one, which would also incorporate some shallots that had been hanging around.

Cooking was in full swing when Dan wandered in and asked what I was making. He looked at the dried fruit. Then he burst my bubble.

“Those are dates.”

Well. They sure were. Bought by Erin for her famous Sticky Toffee Pudding (here’s a bonus link to the Martha Stewart recipe for that), and not resembling figs in the least. (Good article here about the differences between figs and dates. There are many. Now I know.)

So, fig night became date night.

The chicken was great — sweet and savoury with the honey glaze against the garlic and shallots. Sad to say, the dates didn’t add much except a stringy, sticky texture.

On the bright side, there are some (dates, that is) left in the bag. So, I should get a chance to redeem myself in the next 96 days.

Dinner chicken and roasted
Dinner chicken and roasted “figs” (but accidentally used dates), with green beans and brown-and-wild rice.

Kitchen castoffs used

“Figs.” (Or not)

This is how we did it


  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • Olive oil
  • 5 – 6 chicken thighs
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • “Figs” (though I used dates, completely by accident and won’t do that again)
  • 1 tbsp-ish dried oregano (I’m using dried from my garden, so my usage is fairly liberal)
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine cornstarch, water, vinegar and honey and set aside. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

Heat oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil to cover pan (1 – 2 tbsp) and swirl to coat. Place chicken skin-side down, cover with a spatter guard and DON’T TOUCH for 8 – 10 minutes. It has taken me a while to discover that the best way to brown chicken is to leave it alone. When the chicken no longer sticks to the pan, it is done. Flip thighs and brown for another 3 minutes or so. Remove to plate.

Add shallots to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes, scraping up the good brown bits on the pan as you do so. Add garlic and saute for another minute or so, then add the sauce and bring to a boil.

Return chicken to pan, skin-side up, along with oregano and “figs.” I put some of the good thick shallot sauce on top of the chicken, to incorporate more flavour. Put the skillet into the oven and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. When serving, top with more sauce and fresh oregano, if desired.

About my 100 day project: 100 days of cooking, using forgotten or cast-off kitchen ingredients.

If you like this, you might enjoy previous posts about my #100daysofcooking

Have you done a 100 day project? I’d love to hear about it.

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