Balsamic-Braised Chicken Thighs
over Polenta with Figs and Roasted Asparagus
Recipe adapted from One Pan, Two Plates
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
2 slices bacon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed and quartered
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 slices cooked polenta
roasted asparagus (make while you cook the chicken)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook, turning as needed until crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain.
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the bacon drippings in the skillet and cook until nicely browned on both sides (2-3 minutes per side). Transfer chicken to a plate (it won't be fully cooked yet).
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet. Add butter, onion, and garlic, and reduce heat to medium-low. Season with salt and pepper and cook gently until the onion softens, about 4 minutes.
Add the figs and chicken broth and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Return the chicken to the skillet along with any accumulated juices. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a platter.
Turn the heat back up to medium-high, add the vinegar, and cook to reduce the liquid by half. Use a fork to mash up the onion, figs, and garlic into a jammy sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
Return the skillet to the heat (don't bother wiping it out). Saute the polenta rounds on each side until heated throughout.
Put the polenta on a plate and top with the chicken and plenty of fig sauce. Next, top with roasted asparagus and crumbled bacon.