Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have you ever tasted fig vinegar?
Recipe #29: fig vinegar chicken with "seven top" turnips

A friend of my mother once gave us a bottle of fig vinegar. The friend did not know how to use it, but she knew my mother had a use for it. My mother smelled it, and it was very unique. For her sensitive tastes, fig vinegar matches tomato very well, especially canned, skinned plum tomatoes. So my mother made fig vinegar chicken with "seven top" turnips. To our surprise, all of us have admired this dish. Of course, you can subsitue Italian Balsamic vinegar if you do not have fig vinegar; it still tastes very good. This brings a cool feeling, espeically on a hot summer day.


1. 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2. 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut horizontally
3. pinch of salt and pepper to taste
4. 1 c. canned tomatoes
5. 3 garlic cloves, chopped
6. 8 oz. "seven top" turnips
7. 1 Tbsp. fig vinegar
8. 1/4 c. chicken broth


1. Pound chicken on both sides. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in saucepan over medium high heat.
3. Add chicken to pan and cook until light brown, or cooked throughly.
4. Move chicken to a plate.
5. Add remaining olive oil to pan and add garlic, and then turnips. Cook until wilted. Season with salt.
6. Transfer to plate with chicken.
7. Prepare another pan. Add vinegar, chicken broth and tomatoes, and stir. Bring to a simmer until sauce has slightly thickened. Pour on chicken.


1. Pounded chicken is more tender.
2. If you have time, put chicken in refrigerator for 30 minutes after seasoning; this allows flavors to go in.
3. If you don't want to stir-fry the turnips, you can boil them in water with oil and salt. You can also substitute the turnip with spinach or Swiss chard.
4. You can use any type of tomatoes, such is plum or Italian stewed. However, they should be diced.
5. Fig vinegar is a little sour at first, but it gradually becomes sweeter after opening, similar to balsamic vinegar.

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