Suggested wines:

Pinot Gris - Nyakas

Spatlese Trocken - Kerpen

Pansé - Monte Schiavo

Serves 4

extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
2 red onions, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons chopped lemon thyme
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
4 large ripe figs, halved
1 corn-fed chicken (thigh and drumstick
joints, separated).
sea salt
1 stick cinnamon
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup verjuice
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
zest of 1 lemon, removed in wide
strips with a potato peeler
2 tablespoons honey
chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional),
to serve

Grilled semolina

2 cups milk
2cups water
1 fresh bay leaf
1 cup instant semolina
1 teaspoon salt
plain flour, for dusting
extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
unsalted butter, for cooking

Here is another of those one-pot dishes that your family and friends will love. The trick is to use a shallow baking dish so that the ingredients come almost to the top of the dish; that way, when you drizzle the chicken skin with honey it will caramelize beautifully as so much more of it is exposed to the heat than if cooked in a deeper dish. If figs aren’t available, then add par-cooked and peeled baby onions tossed with vinegar, raisins and rosemary instead, to keep in tune with the lovely sweet-sour flavours of the dish.
I like to serve this with grilled semolina, however, the semolina needs to be cooked at least 2-3 hours in advance (or the day before) and chilled in the refrigerator until firm before char-grilling. If you don’t have the time for this, then serve the chicken with boiled waxy potatoes.

If you plan to serve this with grilled semolina, then bring milk, water and bay leaf to the boil over high heat in a saucepan, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain into a heavy-based saucepan, discarding bay leaf, then bring to the boil again. Reduce heat to low. Slowly pour in semolina and add salt, then whisk continuously to combine for 4-5 minutes, ensuring there are no lumpy bits. Grease a baking dish with olive oil, then pour semolina mixture into the dish. Cover with plastic film and leave to set in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.

Preheat fan-forced oven to 200 C (400 F).
Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then add onions, thyme and rosemary and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a shallow flameproof baking dish. Quickly sauté fig halves in the frying pan and transfer to onion mixture in baking dish.

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and place on top of onions and figs, then add cinnamon, stock, verjuice, vinegar and lemon zest. Drizzle with honey, then bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked, basting occasionally with pan juices. Remove from oven and transfer chicken and figs to a dish to rest; keep warm. Simmer pan juices over high heat until reduced and syrupy.

If you’ve prepared the semolina, then cut it on the diagonal into 7 cm pieces.
Lightly dust each piece with flour, then heat a splash of olive oil and a knob
of butter in a char-grill pan over high heat and cook semolina pieces for 2 minutes on each side or until warmed through and grill marks appears.

Return chicken and figs to sauce, then drizzle with olive oil and scatter with parsley, if using. Serve at once with grilled semolina, if desired.