Monday, January 29, 2007

My Chicken Legs - For Bill

Recipes "For Bill" are easy.

I guess we all have things we make that don't really seem like recipes but are just "things we do." This is something I do all the time. I think it's delicious. And it's easy.

Basically, you just put a little tiny bit of oil on whole chicken legs, stick them in the oven, and cook them at a high temperature until they are very crisp.

Since this is excellent hot, cold, or at room temperature, and everyone always loves it, I often make it for company, cooking it ahead of time to serve with different side dishes depending on what appeals to me at the moment. One of my favorite dinners was a 2-ounce-per-person portion of Pasta Shells with Sausage as a starter, followed by a chicken leg served on the same plate with a tart green salad.

If you are tempted to try this recipe. I'm sure you will like it.

My Chicken Legs

Whole chicken legs (free-range are best), as many as you like. (Don't substitute chicken breast halves here because the white meat does not take well to this method.)
Olive oil
Kosher salt

If you have time, salt the chicken legs all over, put them on a rack on a platter, and refrigerate for a few hours. This will air-dry the chicken so it will cook extra crisp. I like to do this the night before I am going to cook the chicken, turning the pieces over in the morning. (Since I prefer this step to brining, I also air dry a whole chicken this way before I roast it.) If you don't have time to do this step, make this recipe anyway; it will still be good.

Put a tiny amount of olive oil in your hand, and rub it onto each chicken piece, all over. You might have to add olive oil to your hand more than once, but do it sparingly because you want each piece very lightly coated with the oil. If you haven't salted the chicken in advance, you should also rub a little salt into each leg. If you have already salted the chicken, don't add any more salt.

To avoid contamination with any bacteria from the chicken, wash you hands after you handle the chicken before you touch the olive oil bottle and salt container (if you are salting at this point).

Put the chicken legs in a pan, and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until they are very, very crisp – 45 minutes to an hour. I usually cook them for an hour because the result I want is extremely crisp, well-done chicken.

Leftovers are great.

1 comment:

  1. I slightly overdid these, but they still came out great (dark meat is thankfully hard to overcook!), had slipped some tarragon & marjoram under the skin zuni style... delish!


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