There are some things in this world that I will never understand. One of which is when people say that they forget to eat breakfast; how the heck does that happen? The minute I manage to drag myself from my sheets, I’m down in the kitchen preparing some serious grub to feed my growling stomach. Food is my first priority in the morning, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Another thing I cannot fathom is how people can despise savory and sweet food combinations. Between my brother, sister and me, I have always been the most adventurous when it comes to trying new cuisine; I can distinctly recall dinners at my grandparent’s house, an vast array of sophisticated hors d’oeuvres spread across the glass table that my grandma prepared. My picky brother and sister would blatantly refuse the pesto crostini, whereas I was the one who was asking for seconds. The guacamole my siblings deemed “disgusting” was passed on to me to devour with a spoon.
I believe that this early willingness to adventure in the world of food is the reason why I gravitate towards more complex flavors in my cooking. Specially sweet and salty pairings. However, the rest of my family is not always on board. My uncle holds the biggest objection when it comes to bringing together these different tastes. Whenever I update him on my latest kitchen creations, he is surprised to hear my crazy combinations. To him, these flavors were never meant to exist as one, and thus he is hesitant to try. Next time he comes to town, I’m going to make him this dish and change his mind for good.
If you share the same preconception as my uncle, start out small with combining sweet and savory. Skip the figs and just try out the marinade. The honey and balsamic vinegar give this chicken the perfect punch of flavor to elevate your next chicken salad or sandwich. In fact, I marinate a big batch of chicken at the beginning of the week and use up the chicken throughout the week in lunches and dinners for quick but tasty protein. I recommend that you do the same, and please let me know what you think!
- 1½ pounds chicken breasts
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 cup figs, quartered
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt
- Blue cheese for topping
- In a large plastic bag, combine the chicken with all of the marinade ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
- Once your chicken has marinated, grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness.
- While the chicken is grilling, sautée the figs, red onions, and balsamic vinegar over medium low heat until the onions are soft and caramelized.
- Top chicken off with caramelized figs and onions and blue cheese.