First, I'd just like to thank everyone for the kind words and well-wishes for my big announcement on Friday. I was so touched and humbled by the words of support and love. Blogging is the best!
Growing up, my grandpa's house was probably my favorite place on earth. He has nine grandkids, but somehow you always felt like YOU were his favorite. Pop was so much fun - he had a pool, a long magnolia tree-lined driveway that was perfect for learning to ride a bike, and acres of land to just run around and play. He also grew grapes (I think muscadine or scuppernongs?) and had a fig tree. I used to love just grabbing a fig or two off the tree and chowing down. My fondest childhood memories take place in his house, and I hope my kids will be able to remember fun times with Pop as well. Caroline loves going to his house to play already. And so far Smith really loves him too (this picture is from Christmas and is one of my favorite pictures ever).
Pop still has the fig tree, but the grapes and pool are no more. Pop does have a golf cart now though, and that provides hours of entertainment for our cousins and kids Without tons of grandkids to use the pool all the time, it wasn't worth the effort to keep up, so he filled it in.. He's gotten too old to tend to his yard the same way he used to, but the fig tree still remains. When I visit him throughout the summer, I'm always quick to ask if there are any figs ready, but sadly I've been there at the wrong time every time. I'm either too early or late, or someone else has already come and cleaned him out - don't they know his granddaughter should get first dibs? ;-)
So while it pains me to pay for figs at the grocery store, I'll do it when it means I can end up with a dish like this. Chicken thighs are grilled and then brushed with a sweet-savory glaze of fig preserves, fresh thyme, and dijon mustard. I brushed halved figs with the same glaze, then grilled them just long enough to get some caramelization and heat them through. I served this with goat cheese grits, and it was pretty much perfect. Just like all those days spent with my sweet Pop.
Fig-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs
a Pink Parsley Original
I used chicken thighs because I just really like them, but chicken breasts would work fine as well. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless-skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fig preserves
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 10-12 fresh figs, halved pole to pole
Prepare grill and preheat to medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, season the chicken thighs on both sides liberally with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the fig preserves, mustard, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Thread the fig halves onto skewers and brush lightly with the glaze.
Oil the grates of the grill and arrange the chicken on the grill. Grill 5-6 minutes per side, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees has been reached. During the last few minutes, brush the chicken with the glaze, turning every minute or so to allow maximum caramelization. Remove the chicken from the grill, brush one more time with the glaze, and cover loosely with foil for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Add the figs to the grill and grill 3-4 minutes, turning often, until heated through and beginning to caramelize. Serve alongside the chicken.