Honey-Balsamic Braised Chicken
4 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 slices bacon, cut into large squares
1 cup red pearl onions, peeled, or 2-3 shallots, peeled and quartered
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets, about 2 cups
½ cup dried figs, quartered
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock, and additional ½ cup if not using wine
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon butter
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
- Place chicken thighs on a plate and season all sides with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
- Place a heavy oven-safe saucepan over medium-low heat and add bacon pieces. Cook until crisp and brown, turning once halfway through, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove bacon to a plate and set aside.
- Turn heat up slightly to medium and add chicken to the pan, skin side down. Cook until skin is crispy and deeply golden in color, about 7 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Turn heat back down to medium-low, add pearl onions and cauliflower. Cook the vegetables, turning occasionally using tongs, to brown all sides, about 8 minutes. Be patient here, color is important. Add dried figs to soften slightly, another 2 minutes, and season with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
- Add the white wine to the pan to deglaze, stirring to remove all bits from the bottom. Add the stock, honey, balsamic, and thyme. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan, skin side up.
- Place pan in preheated oven, uncovered, and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven, and transfer chicken to a serving platter.
- Return saucepan to medium-low heat on the stovetop to bring the sauce and vegetables to a simmer, add butter, and stir to slightly thicken the sauce, about 1 minute. Turn off heat.
- Spoon the sauce and vegetables over the chicken, and sprinkle with crispy bacon pieces. Serve immediately.
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