Fig And Citrus Lamb Chops Recipe

Few things impress at the table more than lamb chops studded with caramelized fig and sprinkled with shiny, glistening citrus zest. Add to that a rich, gamey brown sauce with an illustrious history, and you've got yourself a dish fit for kings.

This fig and citrus lamb chops recipe strikes a perfect balance between savory and sweet thanks to thyme-kissed fruit cooked in a creamy broth reduction. The natural richness of lamb is complemented by the bright notes of citrus and the unique sweetness of the fresh figs. According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Tabledemi-glace, a concentrated and velvety brown sauce with origins in 17th-century French haute cuisine, adds a depth of flavor to this recipe that is both rich and nuanced. Its traditional preparation involves reducing brown stock and espagnole sauce over several hours, allowing the flavors to concentrate and develop complexity. In our modern adaptation, which takes a fraction of the time, butter comes together with stock to give the dish a superior flavor and silky texture.

Incorporating our take on the time-honored demi-glace helps transform ordinary lamb into a gorgeous tapestry of medieval French cooking. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or just looking to treat your date, this recipe is sure to impress everyone who tastes it. Accompany the lamb with a rich, golden Armagnac or a glass of Kir Royale for the ultimate French experience.

Gather the ingredients for this lamb chops recipe

To make this flavor-packed lamb recipe, you'll need bone-in lamb chops, salt, pepper, oranges, lemons, garlic cloves, olive oil, beef or veal stock, butter, fresh figs, and fresh thyme sprigs. The oranges and lemons should be zested and juiced separately. The garlic cloves must be minced, and the figs cut in quarters. The thyme sprigs will be used in cooking the figs themselves, and as a garnish to provide an herbaceous aroma to the dish.

Step 1: Prepare the lamb chops

Pat the lamb chops dry and season generously with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 2: Preheat oil

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.

Step 3: Sear the lamb chops

Sear the lamb chops for 3-4 minutes per side, until medium-rare.

Step 4: Set the lamb chops aside

Transfer to a plate and cover.

Step 5: Saute garlic

In the same skillet, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Step 6: Deglaze the pan

Deglaze the pan with the orange and lemon juices, scraping up any browned bits.

Step 7: Add stock

Add the beef or veal stock and bring to a simmer.

Step 8: Reduce the stock

Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, until the sauce is reduced by half and thickened to a demi-glace consistency.

Step 9: Whisk in butter

Whisk in the butter until fully incorporated.

Step 10: Add figs and half of the thyme sprigs

Add 1 ½ cups diced figs and 10 sprigs thyme. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, until slightly softened.

Step 11: Return the lamb chops to the pan

Return the lamb chops and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Spoon the demi-glace sauce over the chops.

Step 12: Cook the lamb chops in the sauce

Cook for an additional 5 minutes, turning over once.

Step 13: Serve the lamb chops and sauce

Serve, garnished with orange and lemon zest, the remaining diced figs, and fresh thyme sprigs.

What adaptations or substitutions can I make in this lamb chop recipe?

While lamb chops lend themselves beautifully to the dish, you can substitute them with other cuts of lamb for equally delicious results. Lamb loin chops or even a rack of lamb can be used, though both will take longer to cook than individually cut chops.

If lamb is outside your budget or preferences, tender, quick-cooking cuts, such as beef tenderloin medallions or pork tenderloin, can make suitable alternatives. These meats will still pair well with the rich demi-glace sauce and the sweet-tart flavors of the citrus and figs. However, the cooking time will also need to be adjusted with these cuts.

Fresh figs undoubtedly add a lovely, juicy texture and bright flavor to the dish, but if they are unavailable or out of season, dried figs can be used for equally delicious results. Start by rehydrating the dried figs to plump them up — soak them in hot water for 10–15 minutes before adding them to the sauce. This will help them soften and release their sweetness, mimicking the texture and flavor of fresh figs in the final dish.

What are some tips for making a perfect demi-glace sauce?

Our demi-glace relies on fresh citrus juices for its unique flavor, so the key is finding the right balance between reducing the sauce enough to thicken it while preserving the bright, fruity notes. The first thing to remember is that you must start with a high-quality beef or veal stock as the base, as this will provide the sauce's rich backbone. When deglazing the pan with the orange and lemon juices, make sure to scrape up all of the browned bits from the pan. These flavorful bits will add depth and flavor. During the 5-minute reduction period, keep the sauce at a steady simmer and avoid a rapid boil, which can cause the citrus juices to become bitter or break down too quickly. 

If the sauce doesn't reach the desired demi-glace consistency after 5 minutes, continue simmering and reducing until it thickens to your liking, but watch the pan diligently to avoid over-reducing and concentrating the citrus flavors too much. When adding the butter, use cold butter straight from the fridge, as it adds richness and a velvety texture, and it also helps to slightly thicken the sauce by emulsifying the fat into the liquid. Finally, taste the finished demi-glace and adjust the seasoning, if needed. The reduction process can sometimes concentrate the flavors too much, so you may need to add a touch more citrus juice or stock to balance the flavors.

Fig And Citrus Lamb Chops Recipe
4.9 from 10 ratings
Fig and citrus harmonize beautifully in this sophisticated and quickly prepared lamb chop meal that's ideal for your next dinner party or romantic date night.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
servings
A plate with two lamb chops with figs and thyme
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 bone-in lamb chops
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced, zest and juice divided
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced, zest and juice divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup beef or veal stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ + ½ cups diced fresh figs, divided
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
Directions
  1. Pat the lamb chops dry and season generously with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  3. Sear the lamb chops for 3-4 minutes per side, until medium-rare.
  4. Transfer to a plate and cover.
  5. In the same skillet, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the orange and lemon juices, scraping up any browned bits.
  7. Add the beef or veal stock and bring to a simmer.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, until the sauce is reduced by half and thickened to a demi-glace consistency.
  9. Whisk in the butter until fully incorporated.
  10. Add 1 ½ cups diced figs and 10 sprigs thyme. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, until slightly softened.
  11. Return the lamb chops and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Spoon the demi-glace sauce over the chops.
  12. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, turning over once.
  13. Serve, garnished with orange and lemon zest, the remaining diced figs, and fresh thyme sprigs.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 810
Total Fat 63.7 g
Saturated Fat 27.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 155.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.4 g
Total Sugars 18.9 g
Sodium 976.1 mg
Protein 34.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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