I don't think anything is as good and satisfying as braised chicken. The flavors are all melded together for a very comforting meal. I made this with very large chicken thighs, but you can use double the amount of smaller pieces. I give directions for a slow bake. I do that for two reasons. 1. It just tastes better that way. 2. You can assemble this well in advance of your dinner guests' arrival, and that's a good thing. If you are in a hurry, you can bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or 1 hour 15 minutes. This is a very wonderful, not spicy, way to present braised chicken.
1Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Place a bay leaf on the skin side of each thigh. Heat the butter in a large saute/fry pan over med/hi heat. Brown the chicken , skin and bay leaf down, for about 7 minutes. Flip over and brown the other side. Make sure when you flip that the bay leaf stays on the skin side. It will now be facing up.
2When chicken is sufficiently browned, transfer to an rectangular baker, with the skin and bay leaf facing up. Salt and Pepper.
3Dump the fat from the pan into a heat proof bowl and measure back 3 tablespoons. Heat over medium/hi heat. Add the onion and carrot and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
4Add the 1/2 tsp salt and wine. Turn heat up to high and boil until almost no liquid remains.
5Distribute the vegetables evenly around the chicken pieces.
6Scatter the figs evenly over the chicken and vegetables.
7Cover tightly with heavy duty foil. Bake in a slow oven 275 degrees for 3 1/2 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes. Place some green beans or asparagus on top.