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Charles Hunter III's Peppercorn Chicken with Fig Sauce

Peppercorn Chicken with Fig Sauce

byCharles Hunter III
Total 2 hours and 10 minutes (includes marinating time)
Active 50 mins
Makes 6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • 6 skinless chicken breasts, preferably small organic breasts
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder
    Fig Sauce
    • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
    • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
    • One 7-ounce bag dried mission figs, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, grated
    • 2 to 3 dashes of hot sauce
    • Kosher salt
      1. Combine the mustard, honey, thyme, ground black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the chicken and coat each piece in the marinade, then cover or transfer to a resealable bag, press out any air, and place in the fridge. Let marinate for 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
      2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
      3. Place the marinated chicken on a sheet pan or a large plate and sprinkle with the crushed peppercorns on both sides, making sure to evenly distribute them. Pat them into the breast so that they adhere.
      4. In a large skillet over medium heat, add a drizzle (about 1 tablespoon) of olive oil. Add 2 to 3 chicken breasts at a time to the skillet, being sure not to crowd them. Sauté until well browned, about 4 minutes per side.
      5. Transfer the chicken breasts to a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F, 10 to 12 minutes.
      1. Fig Sauce
        1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until slightly translucent, about 1 minute.
        2. Add the chicken broth, figs, garlic, hot sauce, and a pinch of salt, then simmer over medium heat until the figs are melting and the broth is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes.
        3. Season with salt to taste.