Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Balsamic Fig Sauce

Even the Tiny Kitchen Assistant liked the figs.

It’s fig season in California! Fresh figs are amazing, especially when topped with a dollop of goat cheese and roasted at 450 for 5 minutes until the cheese just starts to turn golden.

Dried figs aren’t designed for the same straight-up sweetness, but they make a nice addition to sauces.


  • Light olive oil
  • 4 bone-in rib chops or center cut pork chops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried figs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into four pieces


Rub both sides of chops with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side with sugar, avoiding the bone.

Place chops sugared-side down in a cold skillet, bones pointing to the center of the pan. Turn on the heat to medium. You should hear sizzling within 2 minutes. Cook until lightly browned, 4-9 minutes.

Using tongs, flip chops. Cover skillet, reduce heat to low and cook until the chop reads 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 3-6 minutes. The chops will barely brown on the second side.

Remove from pan, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

Pour off excess fat from the skillet. Return to high heat and add broth and balsamic vinegar, scraping the bottom to deglaze the browned bits from the pan. When the broth is reduced by half, add figs, honey and thyme and cook until slightly reduced. Don’t allow it to reduce too much — the sauce thickens dramatically when the butter is added.

Add butter and swirl into the sauce until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle sauce over chops.


Thumbs up from the Tiny Kitchen Assistant who suggested that the dried figs were yummy, and “kind of like fruit raisins.” This, of course, makes me wonder what he thinks regular raisins are made from.

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