Cider-Braised Chicken with Figs and Caramelized Onions

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Serves: 6

This recipe uses the natural sweetness of figs and onions, and pairs it with cider and balsamic vinegars to create an elegant-tasting, sweet-tart dish. Adapted from a recipe by Canadian Living 2007 Cook of the Year 3rd prize winner.


8 oz (230 g) dried figs, preferably Mission
2 cups (500 mL) apple cider
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 onion(s), large, thinly sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
2 tsp (10 mL) ginger, freshly grated
1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) thyme, fresh, chopped
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
thyme, fresh, for garnish


1 Cut figs in half; trim off tips. In bowl, toss figs with ΒΌ cup (50 mL) of the cider; set aside.
2 In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of the oil and butter over medium heat; fry onions and sugar, stirring often, until translucent and golden, about 14 minutes. Stir in garlic and half of the lemon juice; fry for 1 minute. Add to fig mixture along with ginger and chopped thyme. Set aside.
3 Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken, turning once. Add vinegar and remaining cider and lemon juice; bring to boil, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add fig mixture; simmer until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to warmed serving platter and keep warm.
4 Increase heat to high; boil until thickened to consistency of syrup, about 6 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken.
5 Garnish with thyme sprigs.