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Clay Pot Braised Chicken

Clay Pot Braised Chicken
with figs, apricots, pine nuts with creamy polenta

(From Gus' Figs Bistro Dinner)

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

1/4 cup pine nits (lightly toasted)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 whole chickens (approximately 3 1/2 pounds each)
1 large onion (1/4 inch diced)
1 medium carrot (1/4 inch diced)
1 tablespoon mixed herbs (thyme, sage, parsley)
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock (broth can be substituted)
8 dried apricots (halved)
1/2 cup dried cranberried
1/2 cup dried golden raisins
1/2 cup dried black currants
2 bay leaves

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees
2. Remove backbone, wing bones, and trim excess fat from chicken
3. Split through the center of the breatbone so you will have 4 half chickens
4. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
5. Sear chicken in canola oil on high heat
6. Transfer chicken into a large baking pan, add stock, herbs, and bay leaves
7. Cover and breaise for 35 minutes
8. Add the vegetables and dried fruit, and return, covered, to the oven for 15 minutes
9. Remove from the over, discard bay leaves
10. Server over a bed of creamy polenta
11. Garnish with a pinch of herb mixture sprinkled over all