We eat a lot of chicken in our house and I am continually trying to come up with new combinations to make chicken seem more exciting!
This time I used bone in/skin on thighs. You could also use boneless, skinless thighs or breasts, but I always prefer bone in/skin on thighs for a tastier and juicier piece of chicken. Of course the bacon and Feta help keep the thighs moist and juicy, as well!
The name “Feta” comes from the Greek word for “slice” or “slab”. That term originated in the 17th century–before then, Feta was just called “cheese”. Traditionally it is made from sheep’s milk, but often can be made of cows milk, sheep, goat, or all 3. “Presidents” brand is made from 100% cow’s milk. I prefer sheep’s milk, but it is not easy to find at my local grocery store. This brand is good: salty, mild flavor, with a creamy mouthfeel. It was the perfect salty/sweet complement with the figs.
I used Smyrna dried figs. Generally you will find 3 types of dried figs: Black Mission, Calimyrna, or Turkish figs, often known as Smyrna. Both Calimyrna and Smyrna figs originated near the city of Smyrna in Turkey.
I often have slightly pre-cooked bacon in the fridge so this recipe came together quickly and easily. And this time happened to have toasted pine nuts, too.
Open the chicken thighs and using a sharp knife remove any veiny or other unpleasant looking things inside the thigh. Only remove the most obvious fat. Chicken fat tastes delicious and keeps these bundles of goodness very moist! Liberally salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Sprinkle with garlic granules and about 1/4 tsp. of finely chopped fresh rosemary per thigh. Rosemary has a strong flavor so you do not want to overpower.
Cover the inside of each thigh with 1/4 inch slices of feta cheese. Next, add dried figs, cut in half with stems removed; about 6 halves per piece of chicken.
Gently roll the thighs together using the extra piece of skin to help secure the bundles. Then wrap the partially cooked bacon around each piece, bacon seam-side down. Drizzle a little olive oil over the tops. Tuck a small piece of fresh rosemary under the bacon and top with toasted pine nuts.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and roast the chicken thighs for about 40 to 45 minutes until you have an internal temp of 165. If you want a browner top, pop under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
I served with roasted sweet potatoes and an old-fashioned veg mix of peas, carrots and sauted mushrooms. Olive oil and salt for the potatoes. Salt, Pepper, butter for the veg.
Easy and delicious.
Give your chicken a little kick!
I think you will love this combination of flavors!
Figgy Chicken with Feta Cheese, Bacon and Rosemary
Both sweet and salty and very moist! The rosemary adds a nice touch and the pine nuts bring all the flavors together.
- 1 Chicken thigh per person
- 5-6 1/4 inch Slices Feta cheese, or enough to cover the inside of each thigh
- 3 Dried figs, per thigh, cut in half, stems removed, or enough to cover
- 1/8 tsp. Garlic granules, per thigh
- 1/4 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped, per thigh Plus a small sprig for tucking under the bacon.
- Salt, freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Strip Bacon, per thigh I prefer to slightly pre-cook the bacon. This step is not necessary, but it ensures very crispy bacon.
- 1 tsp. Olive oil, per thigh, for drizzling on top; more for the pan
- 1 tsp. Pine nuts, lightly toasted, per thigh
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking pan by lining with aluminum foil and lightly oiling the bottom of the pan. Open each chicken thigh and clean them by removing any veiny or ugly bits.
Liberally salt and pepper each side. Add 1/8 tsp. garlic granules per piece and 1/4 tsp. finely chopped rosemary per piece.
Slice the feta into 1/4 inch pieces and top each chicken thigh with the cheese; about 5-6 slices for each thigh.
Cut the figs in half and remove the stems. Add to the chicken to cover the feta cheese.
Roll up each thigh using your fingers to push any feta and fig that starts to pop out.
Pull the strip of bacon tightly around the bundle, also using the chicken skin to help secure them, and lay the thighs in the prepared baking pan, seam side down.
Drizzle the tops with about 1 tsp. olive oil. Top with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Finally tuck a small sprig of rosemary under the bacon and top with about 1 tsp. of roasted pine nuts.
Roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until a thermometer reads 165 degrees. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.