We love chicken in our family, the children particularly love chicken legs, that is why I am always looking for new ways to cook, or better said bake, chicken legs.
I am not very fond of cooking something repeatedly (well, there are exceptions of course, mostly things I grew up with and things that my children love best), I think it is quite boring to eat the same 20 dishes over and over again, like my grandmother used to do. She really was a good cook, she always cooked fresh and using the best ingredients she could afford, but she was afraid of food, I used to think. She would never ever, under no circumstance, try anything new, when we visited somebody together she never ever ate anything she didn’t know and when she did eat anything known but cooked by somebody else, she never liked it.
When I started cooking myself and visited her and cooked for her, she absolutely refused to taste my chili con carne. Imagine my disappointment. She was quite strange in this regard, she would for example never eat white things like butter, milk, white cheese or egg white (she would only eat eggs if they were scrambled so she couldn’t see the white).
Well, I don’t have this problem. I could eat most anything, I am absolutely delighted when trying things that are really unusual, I am only sorry that my figure and life span won’t allow me to cook and eat everything I would like to.
These chicken legs are not very unusual, just as much as I can afford unusual and still have my children eat dinner, but they are really really good. You would love them, everybody (except my grandma) would love them. They came out moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, the sauce was delicious and the roasted potatoes were great on the side.
The inspiration was a recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s book “Secrets”. He cooked duck legs this way but I preferred chicken.
Serves: 3 - 4 portions
- 4 whole chicken legs
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 6 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons clear honey
- 150 ml sherry vinegar
- juice of 2 oranges
- juice of 2 lemons
- pan juices from the roasted chicken legs
- knob of butter
- salt and pepper
- 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Stab the skin of the chicken legs a few times with a wooden skewer. Mix the spices and rub the legs with this mixture. Place them in a large dish and leave to marinate for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the chicken legs, skin-side up, in a roasting pan and roast for about 30-35 minutes. Turn twice in between, during the last third of the baking time the skin-side should be up as well. Check if the legs are done by inserting a skewer in the thickest part of the legs. The meat juices should run clear, if they are still pink allow some more cooking time.
- In the meantime start making the roasted potatoes. Clean and cut them into bite-sized pieces (you can leave the skin on if you wish, just make sure you clean the potatoes very well). Place in a large bowl, add the olive oil and the spices and rub very well. Place on a baking tray laid with baking paper and roast in another oven by 200 degrees Celsius/ 390 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until tender. You can cook both the potatoes and chicken legs together in a convection oven or you could just cook the potatoes in a large pan.
- Transfer the cooked chicken legs onto a plate and keep warm while making the sauce.
- Sprinkle the sugar into the meat juices in the tin. Add the honey and cook, stirring, until caramelized. Add the vinegar and let bubble until reduced by half. Add the orange and lemon juice as well and reduce by half again. Strain the sauce into a bowl and beat in the butter. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately with green salad or corn peppers salsa on the side.