Chicken thighs and fresh figs are simmered in and topped with a shallot-balsamic reduction in this one-pot dinner dish that’s simple enough for a weeknight meal, but exotic enough for a special occasion.
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided (1½ teaspoons if using table salt)
½ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 shallots, halved through root end if small, quartered if large
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
¾ cup chicken broth
¼ cup dry white wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 ounces figs, halved (about 8 small figs)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1½ teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all over with 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Place chicken, skin side down, in a cold 12-inch ovensafe skillet (stainless steel works very well). Cook over medium-high heat until fat is rendered and skin is well browned, 8 to 11 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, skin side up.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet and return skillet to cooktop over medium heat. Add shallots and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook until shallots are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, wine, and thyme sprigs.
Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, along with any accumulated juices, and bring sauce to a boil. Transfer skillet to oven and cook, uncovered, until chicken registers at least 185 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Place skillet over high heat (CAUTION: skillet handle will be hot!) and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce is just thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in figs, butter, vinegar, and honey and cook until butter is melted and figs are warmed through, about 1 minute.
Remove skillet from the heat and discard thyme sprigs. Serve chicken with figs, shallots, and sauce, sprinkled with parsley.