I was recently recommended a chicken recipe by a coworker who makes some pretty wonderful food. She marinated chicken breasts in a fig butter and balsamic vinegar mixture. I happened to have plenty of both fig butter and balsamic vinegar on hand, plus an unopened bag of pre-cut chicken breasts (they were on sale at Meijer) that needed to be cooked into something. I decided to cook the chunks of chicken in the butter-vinegar mixture rather than simply marinate, which takes longer and more planning ahead on my part.
First, I cleaned out my larger fry pan. Then I poured in some canola oil to give me a base to start heating up the pan over medium heat. To this I added a few tablespoons of fig butter, then some splashes of balsamic vinegar. As this heated, the fig butter melted and blended with the vinegar. It smelled wonderful. I then added perhaps 1.5 breasts worth of frozen chicken chunks, covered the pan, and let it sit and cook.
While that was going, I cleaned out the rest of a box of brown 5 minute rice from my cupboard that had been sitting there since I don't know when. It came to about half a cup of dry rice, so about one serving once cooked. I thought the chicken chunks over rice would be a good combination. For a vegetable side, I heated up some frozen veggies that had been sitting in the freezer longer than the chicken had been. Just something simple with butter and a little garlic salt, a pretty standard combination for this household.
The liquid got a little built-up in the pan with the chicken, so I left the lid off the last few minutes of cooking to try to evaporate it away. The sauce thickened quite nicely, and there was plenty to drizzle over the rice.
Oh. My. God. This dish was f@$&ing delicious!! And it had no preptime, and cooked up nice and quick. Deliiiciooous. I cannot stress that enough. The sweetness of the fig butter with the slightly sour balsamic vinegar was the perfect blend of flavors. I have to say, I think I prefer the pre-cut chunks of chicken breast over the breasts themselves or the tenders. There's less shrinkage. Lots of companies tend to plump their chicken with salt water to make the pieces seem bigger, but all that water cooks away and leaves you with some disappointing results. (There's no way I could say that without sexual innuendos.)
If you are wondering where to find this mysterious fig butter, the only answer I have for you is Trader Joe's. I am sure other places carry it, perhaps even your local farmers market, but mine came from Trader Joe's. Fig butter is a very interesting substance that also goes great on toast or in a peanut butter sandwich since it is very fruit preserve-esque and bears no real resemblance to butter at all. (Think apple butter, a more common variety of fruit butter.)
There you have it, not only something different to do with fig butter (you know, in case you needed that), but a new way to cook chicken! I know I am always open to that. Maybe next up, I will try something similar with mango butter. The possibilities are endless.