Balsamic Chicken with Figs and Onion with Mashed Cauliflower

One thing Young Oppenheimer had in ready supply at his Oswego Grocery Consortium was figs… lots of fresh figs. (New York Fried, Copyright 2019 Sunao Publishing). As a result, Artichoke Hart created several dishes using the sweet fruit. One hit was this one, especially when combined with cauliflower mashed. Cauliflower being the “hot” ingredient at the time, it was a conversation starter as well as a taste enhancer for the delegations.

Balsamic Chicken with Figs and Onion:

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
6 chicken thighs
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
3 shallots finely diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 medium red onions thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup chicken stock
2 cup shredded curly kale (or regular lettuce)
5 figs cut into halves/quarters depending upon size

Mashed Cauliflower

4 cups finely chopped cauliflower (1 small head)
2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk (or 3% homogenized)


  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C or 350 F
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet heat the olive oil. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper and then cook for 4 minutes per side in the oil until golden in color. Once cooked, transfer to a plate.
  3. In a bowl whisk together the mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar
  4. Add the diced shallots and garlic to the pan and cook for 4 minutes until the shallots begin to soften. Add in the sliced red onions and thyme and let cook for 3 minutes before pouring in the balsamic/mustard mixture and chicken stock
  5. Let everything simmer for 4 minutes before adding in the chopped kale. Return the chicken thighs to the skillet and arrange the fig pieces around the pan. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken and then bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Cut the cauliflower into chunks, place in a food processor and pulse for 10 seconds, until the cauliflower is broken into small pieces. Alternatively, you can chop by hand.
  7. Place the butter or coconut oil into a large skillet on medium-high heat, and once hot, add in the cauliflower and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 6-7 minutes until the cauliflower begins to turn golden in color.
  8. Add in the almond milk and let the cauliflower cook for approximately 10 minutes until there is no liquid in the bottom of the pan, it should all be absorbed into the cauliflower.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until completely smooth. Place in serving dish
  10. Pull out chicken and sprinkle with more thyme before placing on serving plate.

This and other recipes occasionally pop up in the Artichoke Hart series (available here), or the London Cartwright series (available here). Both chefs are fictional… the dishes are not.


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