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I am planning a Tapas party for the end of February, so over the next few weeks I will be testing a lot of small plates, appetizers, and bite sized foods. There is no better reason than a party to test new recipes, ha?

This Tapas night is filled with much anticipation after the Restaurant night I hosted a year ago.  We’ve hosted many parties at our house and so our guests know that they will have a good time.  I’m not the most experienced cook, but since I push for flavor using fresh herbs, spices and local ingredients, my guests seem to have nothing but good to say about it.  I feel so blessed to have such supportive friends!

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Honestly, I don’t cook meat that often and I’m not that concerned with mastering the art of meat.  Though the beef, dairy, and poultry industry is a major player in our economic system, I’m a big believer that we need to go more local and make food more personal.  My current “reading list” right now is these Ted Talks.

I adapted this recipe from Food & Wine: Sticky Grilled Drumsticks with Plum Sauce. The name alone is enticing! Surprisingly, a farmer sells plums at our farmer’s market year round, but I wanted to adapt it for what is available now. Since the variety of fresh fruit is limited in winter, I chose to use Trader Joe’s dried Calimyrna Figs cooked in balsamic vinegar and cooked the drumsticks in a slow cooker.  I personally prefer the oven, but I know many people like the convenience of a slow cooker and I felt it may be helpful for my party.

Ingredients

    • 5-6 chicken drumsticks, with skin
    • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, plus 1 Tbs reserved
    • 1 green garlic, clove minced and greens chopped (or substitute 1 garlic clove minced and 1 green onion chopped).  Reserve 2 Tbs greens.
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I used 1/3 but seemed like too much)
    • 4 dried Calimyrna Figs, cut into quarters
    • 1/4 cup hot or sweet red pepper jelly
    • 1/4 cup water

Directions

    1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the green garlic clove and cook until the onion is tender.
    2. Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, add the figs, red pepper jelly and greens.  Reserve 2 Tbs greens.
    3. Add the water to make sure that the mixture doesn’t turn into a jell form and continue to simmer until the jelly is melted.  Reserve 1/4 of the marinade for dipping.
    4. In the bowl of a slow cooker, add the chicken drumsticks and pour the sauce over the top.  Put the lid on and cook on high for 2-3 hours, flipping every hour and check the temperature until it reaches 165º F.  In my cooker it took 2 hours.
    5. Transfer the reserved marinade to a blender and puree, adding more water as needed to make the Fig Sauce.
    6. Sprinkle remaining greens and red onion on chicken and serve with Fig Sauce.
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