Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken is super flavorful, delicious, and easy to make chicken recipe. This tender and crispy skinned chicken is smothered in a sweet and tangy fig and balsamic sauce and caramelized red onions. Not your average chicken recipe!
This flavorful chicken dish is Paleo, Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free! This sticky and crispy chicken is roasted until it is so tender! Serve with cauliflower rice or your favorite veggie noodles for a hearty, filling and super tasty meal!
The sweet, sticky and delicious fig sauce is slightly tart from the balsamic vinegar. The caramelized onions takes this chicken recipe to a whole different level of fabulous flavor! The aroma that comes from the kitchen while it is roasting is absolutely incredible!
Sounds scrumptious, right? The acidity from the balsamic vinegar and the onions pairs so well with the homemade fig sauce. I added a touch of coconut aminos, but you could use soy sauce (or tamari to stay gluten-free). My whole family just LOVES this chicken recipe.
If you make this in the end of summer or early fall, and live somewhere there are fresh figs, I highly recommend using fresh juicy figs in the recipe. It is a little fussy to caramelize the onions, but I absolutely suggest you include them in the recipe! You could skip the onion part, and just make the fig sauce, but why!!? You’ll become obsessed with these onions like I am and will be putting them on every thing!
What is a fig sauce?
You can find the actual fig sauce condiment at most markets, or you could make your own. Fig sauce is used to flavor or glaze. It goes well with meat, poultry and game. Lovely with prosciutto and special gourmet cheeses. You could make your own fig sauce with fresh figs, jam or or fig preserves.
What does fig sauce taste like?
Fig sauce, homemade or store bought, is sticky and sweet. It has the texture and taste similar to honey.
What ingredients are in balsamic and fig chicken?
Using fig sauce to make a fig balsamic glaze
The delicious homemade fig sauce gets combined with the balsamic vinegar (and all the other ingredients)to make the most incredible glaze. The glaze can be customized to your taste. I added also rice wine vinegar to take away more of the sweet flavor from the fig jam.
Here is what you need to make this incredible chicken recipe:
Full instructions below on recipe card.
- chicken (I used legs, bone-in skin on, or use thighs
- olive oil (for the chicken and the onions)
- salt (for the chicken and the sauce)
- red onions
- sea salt
- sugar *I used coconut sugar for Paleo, omit for Whole30
- margarine for dairy-free (or butter), coconut oil for Paleo
- jar fig jam or preserves (make sure it’s NO SUGAR to stay Paleo-Whole30)
- balsamic vinegar
- rice wine vinegar
- coconut aminos, or soy sauce (I prefer Tamari)
- dijon mustard
- raw honey *omit for Whole30
- garlic clove, minced
- chicken broth *(I used homemade, low-sodium)
- fresh Italian parsley
- fresh thyme or rosemary
How to caramelize onions:
This chicken has not only a homemade fig sauce, but also delicious caramelized onions. It’s an extra step that adds the most incredible flavor to this chicken! I caramelize onions 1-2 times a week to add to so many different dishes. While the chicken is cooking the first 30 minutes, you can caramelize the onions and and fig sauce.
Caramelizing onions at higher heat: IF you had a lot of time, the best method to caramelized onions is LOW and slow, so they do not burn. I had the temperature on a medium-high heat so it can cook up quicker. And maybe your stove is better at medium heat (every stove is different).
To begin caramelizing, you first add olive oil to the pan. As the onions are softening, the trick is to add small portions of water. If you don’t add bits of water to the pan, the onions will stick too much, and you can’t keep adding oil. Basically, I add water about 3-5 times while it’s caramelizing. Also important, to keep those onions moving! You have to keep stirring them. So it’s adding water and deglazing pan and stir, stir, stir!
After about 20 minutes are so the onions will begin to turn a nice golden brown color and they’ll soften up nicely. Once you’re at the phase where they have that gorgeous color, if you’re using garlic, add in the garlic (if you add at the beginning, the garlic will burn!).
Then you add in the fig sauce ingredients and cook together for a few minutes before adding to the pan with the chicken. Sounds incredible? It is!!
How do you make fig and balsamic glazed chicken with caramelized red onions?
Once you gather all your ingredients, you begin the first step.
First step is to season the chicken with salt and pepper. Drizzle on the oil and begin to roast it on high temperature of 425F for 30 minutes.
Second step while it’s cooking, make the glaze.
Third step while you make the glaze, you caramelize the onions.
Once you have the glaze and the onions softened, spread it all around the chicken and continue to roast on a lower temperature (375F for another 30-45 minutes).
Final step is to remove the pan from the oven. Let it rest a few minutes on the pan. Serve with your favorite sides!
How do I know that the roasted chicken is fully cooked?
My preference is to cook thighs and drumsticks to internal temperature 185F. I find the meat is not as tender and falling off the bone if it’s cooked to less than 185F.
If you make this recipe with chicken breasts, the internal temperature is safe at 165F. Use an instant-read thermometer for safest way to check if chicken has reached the correct internal temperature.
Calculate 15 minutes of cooking time per pound of chicken if you make this recipe using a whole chicken.
What can I serve with this chicken recipe?
There are various different side dishes to enjoy with this tasty chicken.
To keep the recipe low carb, paleo and Whole30:
- Steamed broccoli
- White potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Cauliflower rice
- Nice Salad
- Vegetable noodles
If you aren’t following special diet:
- Sweet potatoes
- Steamed rice
- Cous Cous
- A nice crusty bread
Is balsamic and fig chicken freezer friendly?
This is a great dish to make on a Sunday if you’re doing some meal prep for the coming week. It’s really nice when you heat it up. Once the chicken has cooled down a bit, remove from the bone and shred it. This makes it easier to reheat when you’re ready to serve it.
Place the portions of leftovers in freezer-friendly zip top bags or air-tight containers. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge. Heat in the microwave or stove top in a skillet.
Some other delicious chicken recipe ideas:
- Baked Pineapple Chicken
- Tangerine Garlic Chicken
- Sheet Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken with Broccolini
- Very Easy One Pot Chicken and Rice
Balsamic Fig Glazed Chicken
- 8 chicken legs bone-in skin on (or thighs)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- CARAMELIZED RED ONIONS
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium red onions thinly sliced it’s about 3 cups sliced very thinly, or red, white or sweet onion or a combo of shallots and onions
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp sugar *I used coconut sugar for Paleo omit for Whole30
- FIG SAUCE
- 2 Tablespoons margarine or unsalted butter ( coconut oil for Paleo)
- 1 12 oz jar fig jam or preserves, no sugar (to stay paleo-Whole30)
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar can omit if you don't have on hand
- 2 Tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce (I prefer Tamari)
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon raw honey *omit for Whole30
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper or more to taste
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 cup chicken broth *I used homemade low-sodium)
- 2 Tablespoons Italian parsley chopped
- fresh thyme or rosemary optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil paper or spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Meanwhile, pat the chicken with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over the chicken and rub to coat (you just want it to have a nice coat, not be drenched in it). Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken, skin-side up, onto the sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes.
- FIG SAUCE
- In a small sauce pan on medium heat, melt the margarine (or butter). Add the fig jam, balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, raw honey (or maple syrup; omit for Whole30), coconut aminos, and broth. Turn to medium-high heat and bring to a low boil, stirring and let it thicken up a little. If it’s getting too thick, add little bit more of broth.
- CARAMELIZED ONIONS
- Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil to medium to medium-high heat (every stove is different).
- Add the sliced red onions (or whatever onion you are using). Begin to stir and season with some salt. Keep stirring (don’t leave the pan!) and after the first 5-7 minutes, add a bit of water to deglaze.
- Continue cooking and stirring, adding water every few minutes or so (you know when the red onions dry up again. This helps to prevent burned onions). Once they are a nice and golden brown (could take between 15-30 minutes), stir in garlic (if you’re using). Add the fig balsamic sauce and stir to combine.
- Lower the oven temperature to 375F.
- Carefully turn the chicken pieces.
- Scatter the balsamic fig onion sauce on and around the chicken and roast for another 30 minutes.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown (and the skin is nice and crispy) and has internal temperature of 185 degrees F. Total cook time is about 1 hour-1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle on fresh chopped parsleyServe with your favorite sides. *I enjoyed it with cauliflower rice and steamed broccoli. The kids enjoyed it with steamed jasmine rice and steamed broccoli.
- Once cooked and completely cooled, the chicken stays fresh covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- When cooked and completely cool, you can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for 1-2 months. Best way is to remove the chicken from the bones and shred it.
- If you’re making chicken breasts: The safe internal temperature for chicken breasts is 165 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce cook time by 20-25 minutes.
- If you’re making a chicken thighs and legs (like I did), you should check by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and temperature should read 185F.
- Serve with your favorite low carb side like cauliflower rice, steamed broccoli, veggie noodles, roasted potatoes, a nice salad.
- If you're not staying low carb, serve with jasmine rice, cous cous, sweet potatoes.