Entree/ Poultry

Balsamic Chicken with Figs and Kale

Fall figs!

I spend a lot of my time off from cooking at the brewery looking at recipes. Can you believe that? After helping in the kitchen four days a week; I still want to look at food? Either I’m searching my favorite wineries for recipes or watching food shows or movies about food.

Cooking for company is something I love to do and hope to get back to doing that. I can spend hours trying to pick out the perfect menu; not to fussy (just yet) and not too very complicated (although I do like a challenge) just a perfect meal to enjoy with friends and family. I also think it is fun to get guest involved in the cooking, only if they are into that sort of entertainment. And, I can’t wait to have my first tea party. I should say “tea” because tea party makes me think of old ladies in hats and I’m definitely not a “hat” person. So, if you are ever invited to “tea” you know you do not have to wear a hat.

Back to these figs. We were visiting our kids in Chicago and I always have to take a trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joes. I just happened to find at Trader Joe’s and it was a huge container for something like $6. One night we put come quartered figs, honey and good crusty bread out with a wedge of Gorgonzola cheese. I could make a meal of that alone but, of course, we had a nice dinner along with those apps.

I made a few changes to this recipe. I didn’t care for how overcooked the kale looked after being in the oven. I will replace the kale next time with some Swiss chard or even some fresh spinach and will wait until the last 10 minutes to add it to the dish. No need to totally overcook a green vegetable. If you can’t find fresh figs you can always substitute with some dates, prunes or dried apricots.

Hope you will give this a try. It makes a delicious Fall dinner.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: I posted Layered Shrimp Pie back in 2011. It is a great appetizer to have for company and serves quite a few people.


Have everything prepped. I found beautiful fresh figs at Trader Joe’s and couldn’t wait to try them in this recipe. The original recipe called for kale but I’m not a big kale fan and will sub spinach for it next time. Also the kale really overcooked and turned a dark green (per recipe directions on cooking of the kale) When I make this again, I will add either the spinach or kale or maybe some rainbow chard towards the end of the baking time so the greens keep some of their color.

Brown your chicken thighs per recipe below.

After the thighs are nice and brown, remove them to a plate and continue with recipe.

Mix together the Dijon mustard, honey and balsamic and set aside.

The shallots, garlic and red onions get a quick sauce.

Then the balsamic, mustard and stock mixture gets added.

Add in the kale (or wait until towards the end like I suggested).

See how dark the kale became. Wait and add any greens towards the end of baking.

We served this on top of bucatini pasta but rice would be just as tasty.

Balsamic Chicken with Figs and Kale


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 6 Chicken Thighs bone in skin on
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 shallots finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 large or 2 smaller red onions thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. shredded curly kale (or substitute spinach
  • 5 or more fresh figs cut in halves


  1. In large cast iron skillet or an oven proof pan heat the4 olive oil. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper and then cook for 4 minutes per side in the oil until golden in color. Once cooked, remove to plate.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar. Add the diced shallots and garlic to the pan and cook for 4 minutes until the shallots begin to soften. Add in the sliced red onions and thyme and let cook for 3 minutes before pouring in the balsamic/mustard mixture and chicken stock.
  3. Let everything simmer for about 4 minutes. (I'm changing the recipe as far as when to add the kale, see note at bottom) Return the thighs to the skillet and arrange the fig pieces around the pan. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken and then bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with more thyme before serving.
  4. The original recipe called for putting the kale in the skillet when it first went into the oven. I didn't like how dark the kale got and the next time I will make this I will probably use spinach and add it maybe 10 minutes before the dish is finished baking. Just give it a little stir when you put it in
  5. We served this with a bucatini pasta and spoon some of the sauce over the pasta.
  6. Recipe from everylastbite.com

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