One day ahead, prepare the chicken
In a small bowl combine the rosemary, garlic, 2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
Cut the chicken breasts away from the bones, leaving the skin intact. With a paring knife, cut out the white tendon on the underside of each breast. Rub the rosemary-garlic mixture all over the chicken, including under the skin, taking care to keep the skin attached to the meat. Stack two breasts so that the skin faces outward and each breast's thicker rounded end is on top of the thinner tapered end of the other. Tie the breasts together with butcher's twine, forming a little roast. Repeat with the remaining 2 breasts. Reposition any skin that may have bunched up while tying and season the roasts all over with 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Put the roasts on a rack over a small baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
One day ahead, prepare the compote
Put the apple, figs, jelly, wine, dry mustard, mustard seeds, a generous pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Store covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Finish the dish
Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Sear the chicken until dark golden brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Return the chicken to the rack over the baking sheet. Roast until a thermometer inserted in the center of each roast reads 165°F, 20 to 30 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes. Remove the strings from the chicken and carefully slice each roast on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick medallions. Stir the toasted walnuts into the compote and serve with the chicken.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips