MAKES 8 SERVINGS
Adapted from The Lodato Family Cookbook by Frank Lodato Jr. and Julie O'Day Lodato
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Debone chicken using a sharp knife. Lay chicken legs skin side down, cut around thigh first and scrape around the bone freeing the meat from the bone. Move to the joint and cut around it, freeing the meat from the joint as well as the leg bone. Break the thigh bone off at the knuckle and discard bone. Make sure you have the meat loose from leg bone. Move to the foot side of the leg and cut about one inch of the end knuckle off with a cleaver, then push the leg bone through to form a pocket for the stuffing.
In a large frying pan heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms and ham. Brown sausage and add it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix and let cool.
Flatten chicken with a mallet. Wash and dry the pieces, then set them skin-side down on a tray. Stuff the mixture into chicken quarters. Roll skin around and shape like a Tee Pee with chicken bone sticking up. Bake at 350ºF about 40 minutes or until done.
When finished, you can get creative and put a small chef's hat on top of the chicken leg. Serve this dish with the legs sitting up, if possible. An optional step is to coat with Fig Sauce.
Drain syrup from figs and reserve. In a large skillet combine fig syrup and sugar and mix well. Cook over high heat, stirring and adding butter until mixture caramelizes and turns very syrupy, about 18 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place drippings in a 1-quart saucepan. Add 3/4 cup onions and next 6 ingredients and sauté over high heat until vegetables start to wilt, about 3 minutes, suturing occasionally. Stir the vegetables into the caramelized fig sauce and add 2 cups stock, stirring well.
Turn heat to high and cook 15 minutes more. Add orange slices and cook 5 minutes. Add 1 cup stock and remaining 1/2 cup onions and cook 10 minutes more, stirring. Remove from heat.
Strain contents and reserve liquid. Puree strained solids in a food processor until smooth. Add puree to reserved liquid, stirring well. Turn heat to high and cook until mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in figs and simmer about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture in a sauce, about 18 minutes more. Remove from that and serve over duck or chicken.