Roasted Chicken with Green & Black Figs

I saw some beautiful figs at the market today. Well, OK, it was more like, we ran into Paul Qui, winner of 2012 Top Chef Texas, and he was tasting a fig, and that gave me the idea. (He asked: “What are you guys cooking?” I said: “We’re roasting some chicken.” He said: “Oh, me too!”)

I brined four chicken legs (#5 chicken from Whole foods), about 2.5 pounds, in 5 cups of water, 1/4 cup each of salt and sugar, and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper. Total brining time was about 6 hours. I patted the skin dry then spread on a mix of 1 Tsp butter with 1/2 tsp thyme, and sprinkles of salt and red pepper flakes.

I halved the figs, and added some carrots and onions. In a separate dish, I had Japanese sweet potato tossed with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Baked the whole lot at 350°F for about 30 minutes until the internal temperature reached 150°F, then I turned the oven to broil and turned it up to 500°F for another twenty minute. The final temperature was 180°F, which was 10° above the recommended 170°F, but the chicken was still very juicy.

I think because of the crowding in the pan, only the topmost part of the legs got browned. Next time, I’ll try a bigger pan so there’s less crowding and see if they’d brown more evenly.