Chicken Thighs Smothered in a Fig Balsamic Sauce is a great fall dish. It is seasonal. It is flavorful and it is so good! Plus, it is relatively simple to make! Start by making your Fig and Garlic Sauce, smother the chicken, and bake. See, it really is so simple!
I made my own fig preserves or fig sauce. I had some leftovers and didn't want them to go to waste. If you don't have figs and want to skip this step, you can always use fig preserves.
Start by quartering your figs. You can see mine are a little past prime, but it is okay, they were still really good once they were cooked down.
I have some great friends on Instagram from New Zealand. They are now shipping their raw honey worldwide! I was so excited to get some! Steen's honey was a great addition.
So, cook your figs, water, and honey to a small pan and bring to a boil.
Cook it until it reduces down and thickens. You may need to add a little more water if it cooks out too quickly.
Place into a small food processor or blender and pulse until it is fairly smooth.
It should be thick and sweet. If your figs aren't very sweet, you can always add in more honey at this point if you want.
Fig and Garlic Sauce
Now that the figs are cooked, let's start the sauce. Saute your onions and garlic.
Add in the fig preserves and balsamic. Mix well and add in the thyme. Cook, stirring consistently until the sauce is heated through.
I decided on chicken thighs for this recipe. The flavor of the fig sauce and the thighs is just so good! I also used a bone-in thigh, as I love the flavor of the bones. If you don't want the mess of the bones, by all means, use boneless. If you prefer to use chicken breasts, that is your call. I was a breast only (that sounds weird, doesn't it?) kind of person forever. I have only recently started venturing into thigh land!
Cooking the Chicken
I like to give the chicken a good sear before baking. My stainless steels pans are perfect for this. Many people think you need a nonstick to be able to cook foods like this, but I disagree. I will give you a few essential tips for cooking in stainless steel and not having your food stick to the pan. I also like to use a stainless steel pan that is all metal, then I can move it from the cooktop to the oven with no problem. This Cuisinart is a great one, but I buy mine at Marshall's. They actually have pretty great, individual cookware there!
- Make sure your pan is hot, add the oil and let it heat, then add the chicken. If your pan is cool, it will certainly stick!
- I like to increase the heat right after I have added the chicken to the pan. The chicken will cool the pan slightly. In order to maintain the heat, increase it for a bit.
- Cook the chicken until it is a golden brown on the bottom before trying to turn it. If you try and turn before it has a good sear it will stick.
- Don't rush the pan or the chicken. Make sure both are ready before proceeding!
Once the chicken is seared, add the sauce on top and move to the oven. Your Chicken Thighs with fig balsamic will be done in no time!
The chicken should be baked until the inside temp reached about 175-180 degrees. You can always use chicken breasts if you prefer white meat, but I just love thighs with the fig sauce. If using breasts, cook, as shown above, only when baking, bake to 140-145 degrees. They are so much easier to dry out, so be mindful.
The Chicken Thighs Smothered in a Fig Balsamic Sauce
I topped with a few springs of fresh thyme, as the chicken just needed a little pop of color. That is it! Also, the sauce can be a little time consuming if you are making your own fig preserves, but aside from that, this is so simple! Is this chicken thighs with fig balsamic sauce not the prettiest dish?
Looking for a great side dish for the chicken. Check out my side dish section for a lot of great ideas!
Chicken Thighs Smothered in Fig Balsamic Sauce
- 4-6 chicken thighs, boneless or bone in You can always use chicken breasts if you prefer
- ¼ cup olive oil divided. You will use 2 tablespoons for the sauce and 2 for browning the chicken.
- ¼ cup onions, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 cup fig preserves You can also make your own like I did in the post. You do this by cooking 1 cup quartered fresh figs, ½ cup water and ½ cup honey. Cook until the figs are tender, and the sauce thick. Pulse in a food processor until smooth.
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup balsamic You can add a little extra if you want. I really like the flavor of balsamic, so I will throw in an extra tablespoon or so.
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme if available, if not use dry.
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper adjust seasoning as needed
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions, saute for 3-5 miinutes until softened. Add in fig preserves, honey, balsamic, Thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. Now, heat a large oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. While it is heating, salt and pepper your chicken. Once it is heated, make sure it is good and hot, add in your chicken. Let it cook until it is golden brown on one side, then flip carefully. Cook again on the other side. Smother each piece of chicken generously with the fig sauce. Then place in oven.Bake until the chicken is about 175 degrees. It is wonderful served right away, but can also be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat as desired. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!