Chicken is a main stay of weeknight meals. For a change, try a slightly fancy feeling Chicken in Shallot Fig Butter Sauce made so tasty with the sweetness of Fig preserves and the touch of Dijon mustard. This rich, buttery sauce with shallots, herby rosemary is a bit sweet, tangy and perfect sauce for creamy mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles. And on the table in about 30 minutes flat. So fancy up your chicken dinner tonight and try this flavorful recipe.
I can appreciate trying to put dinner on the table in under an hour. I also work full time and I want dinner to be ready quick without a lot of fuss. But I do get sick of the same ol’ same ol’, am I right? This recipe is a great fancy-ish weeknight dinner and an easy and delightful dish for entertaining. It tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen, but we both know it was a breeze.
So what are the ingredients that step it up in this recipe? Fig preserves and Dijon mustard. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with these pantry heroes. Another tip? Chicken concentrate, like Better than Boullion that is widely available. Why not just use chicken broth? Because I want maximum flavor with the least amount of liquid. I like the Penzeys brand because they don’t add high fructose corn syrup to their concentrate. Add some butter, shallots, Rosemary, Balsamic vinegar and simmer with some nicely browned chicken thighs and you got a bowl of delish. The sauce is just the BEST! If you are on the fence about of the amount of Fig preserves, start with 2 tablespoons and you can move up from there.
An important note about the chicken for this recipe, I don’t recommend using chicken with skin on. When I tested this recipe with chicken thighs with skin, the sauce was very oily, and the chicken skin became very soft and the texture was not ideal. I also tried bone in and this also took longer to cook. So I highly recommend skinless and boneless thighs or chicken breast or a combination.
Preserves, Jams and Jellies
Since this recipe uses Fig preserves, I want to explain the difference in case you can’t find preserves. Preserves have the most density of whole or partial fruit pieces. This is the chunkiest of the three. The medium consistency of the three types of preserved fruits is jam. It has pieces of fruit, but not as large as preserves. And finally jelly, which has no pieces of fruit. It’s almost crystalline in color and texture. For this recipe either preserves or jam will work best and I don’t recommend jelly.
How to make Chicken in Shallot fig butter sauce
What you will need:
- 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breasts or both, patted dry and sprinkled with salt and pepper to both sides of the chicken pieces.
- 1 cup of sliced shallots; about 2 large shallots
- 1 tbsp fresh, chopped Rosemary leaves
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp fig preserves
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp chicken concentrate
- kosher salt and pepper
I recommend having all the ingredients ready before starting the chicken. Once the chicken is browned, the rest of the ingredients are added to the skillet or dutch oven quite quickly. You also need a wide, shallow dutch oven, or skillet with lid.
To start, over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in the pan until hot. Add butter and as soon as it’s melted, add the chicken pieces. Do not crowd the pan, you may have to brown them in two batches. Brown each side about 3 minutes or so. Then the next batch. Chicken should be browned in about 10 minutes or so.
Remove the chicken from the pan. While the pan is hot, add shallots and rosemary. If you need to, you can add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Sauté the shallots and rosemary until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add water, chicken concentrate to the shallots and rosemary, and whisk until the concentrate in completely melted and incorporated. Now add the vinegar, stir and finally 1 tbsp of butter, Fig preserves, Dijon mustard and whisk until completely combined. Return chicken to the pan, and spoon some of the sauce over the chicken. Place lid on skillet/dutch oven, and turn heat to low. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Check for doneness. Temperature for chicken should be 165 degrees. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
The sauce should be a medium consistency. If you have leftovers, and upon reheating, the sauce may be a bit thicker. You can add 1 tablespoon or chicken broth or water to dilute if you desire.
Now for eating this tender, sweet and savory Chicken in Shallot Fig Butter Sauce on a nice pillow of mashed potatoes and the finger licking sauce. Enjoy!
All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com
Chicken with Shallot Fig Butter Sauce
- skillet or shallow dutch oven with lid
- 2 lbs chicken thighs or breast or combination boneless, skinless cut in halves
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin, divided
- 2 tbsp butter unsalted, divided
- 1 tbsp rosemary fresh, finely chopped
- 2 whole shallots (about 1 cup) sliced and roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp chicken concentrate see notes
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tbsp fig preserves
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Pat dry the chicken pieces and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.
- Peel and slice shallots. About 1 cup.
- Remove fresh rosemary leaves from the stem. Chop the leaves finely.
Brown the chicken:
- Over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in the pan until hot.
- Add butter and as soon as it’s melted, add the chicken pieces. Do not crowd the pan, you may have to brown them in two batches.
- Brown each side about 3 minutes or so. Then the next batch. Chicken should be browned in about 10 minutes.
- Have the remainder of your ingredients measured and ready as the recipe moves fast after the chicken is browned.
For the sauce:
- Remove the chicken from the pan. While the pan is hot, add shallots and rosemary.If you need to, you can add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- Sauté the shallots and rosemary until they are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add water, chicken concentrate. Whisk until the concentrate in completely melted and incorporated.
- Add vinegar, stir. Add 1 tbsp of butter, Fig preserves, Dijon mustard and whisk until completely combined. NOTE: If you wish, you can add two tablespoons of Fig preserves, taste and add the addtional 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Return chicken to the pan, and spoon some of the sauce over chicken. Place lid on skillet/dutch oven, and turn heat to low.
- Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Check for doneness. Temperature for chicken should be 165 degrees. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
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