9/14/2023 | By Diane Rossen Worthington

When I see figs at the market in early fall, I get excited. Figs are one of those fruits that has such a distinct flavor and texture. These little honey-flavored fruit gems taste sweet and have tiny seeds inside that add a slight crunch. I can eat them raw out of hand or in various dishes from appetizers to desserts. I like to serve them as an appetizer with goat cheese or blue cheese, a topping on bruschetta, as a side accompaniment to poultry dishes, and as a wine-poached dessert. Figs should be slightly soft to the touch with no rips to the skin.

There are many fig varieties but the most common are the Black Mission, Brown Turkey and Green Kadota. Use whichever you prefer for this simple but very tasty chicken dish. Cooking the figs brings out their sweetness and soft texture. The key is to cook them just until they are nicely softened and keep their shape.

Here the chicken is marinated in a port wine, orange zest and fresh herb blend. These complementary flavors are enhanced with fresh garlic, shallots and olive oil. Use an inexpensive tawny port for this recipe since it reduces as it cooks. The woodsy rosemary and earthy thyme sprigs temper the sweet port flavor. The figs add a unique taste and texture. Accompany with vegetable rice and simple steamed vegetables. Serve a chilled sauvignon blanc or a pinot noir with this dish.

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Figs, Port Wine, Orange and Fresh Herbs

Serves 4


Fresh figs for the roasted chicken breast with figs recipe.
  • 4 chicken, breasts with skin and bone attached, about 3/4 pound each
  • 1 pound fresh figs, stems removed

For the marinade:

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1.4 cup tawny port
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary sprig, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced

To serve:

  • Fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients (except the orange slices) and mix until blended. Taste for seasoning. Place the chicken and figs in a large lock-top plastic bag and pour in the marinade, turning to coat the chicken. Make sure the marinade is evenly distributed, seal the bag, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the chicken, with the marinade and orange slices, in a large shallow parchment-lined sheet pan or roasting pan.
  3. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it is cooked through with no pinkness remaining and the skin is brown and crispy. Transfer to a serving platter. (Cover with foil to keep warm.)
  4. Arrange chicken and figs on a platter, pour over the juices and orange slices and garnish with rosemary and thyme. Serve immediately.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple: Easy Recipes for Creative Cooks” and “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at

©2023 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Diane Rossen Worthington

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at