Savory Figs. Or maybe I should say savoring figs. Because that’s exactly what I like to do this time of year… savor the figs with another summer post featuring this fruit. This time I’ve got savory figs served with braised chicken and a sweet and sour honey gastrique.
It’s summertime. Which is the equivilant of fig stealing season. Err, well I mean fig foraging season. And I love fig foraging. There are 8 or 10 trees in my neighborhood. That’s a lot of figs! I can’t steal them fast enough. Birds love figs and it makes me crazy when they beat me to the best figs. So I have a big bushel that I never seem to get to the bottom of.
To help me get to the bottom of the bushel I eat them freshly plucked from the tree (L.A. soot and all) or cooked to a mushy pulp. I use them in cakes and cookies. I also toss them on top of salads, and of course I make jam or even savory fig ketchup. But I have so many figs this year that I don’t have any regrets experimenting with them too. My fig ketchup turned out so well that I became interested in exploring more recipes with savory figs. So when I came across Judy Rodgers’ recipe for braised chicken legs with figs I knew I was adding it the my menu. It’s a simple preparation that really transforms naturally sweet figs into savory figs.
Savory Figs Gastrique
Which is no easy feat. Figs are so super sweet this time of year it’s difficult to find ways to bring out their dark earthy flavors sometimes. Judy accomplishes this feat by slowly drizzling in a warm mixture of vinegar and honey into the finished dish. This drizzle is what the French call a gastrique. It’s very good at enhancing a sauce with a little acid and a little sweetness. Heat can destroy the sour bite of vinegar. So make sure you add the gastrique at the last minute and only let it simmer a moment of two before you serve this chicken and its savory figs. GREG