Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters


Printable version
I was shopping for groceries recently and I stumbled across chicken leg quarters for 98¢ a pound. I picked up a package and went about my business. As I continued to shop, I realized that any other time I had bought leg quarters it was to grill, usually over a summer holiday weekend. Suddenly, I found myself wondering the isles thinking “what the heck am I going do with this chicken?”

My grill was covered with snow and Northern Indiana’s weather this winter has been more like what you’d find in the Himalayas. I decided it was time to experiment and roast them in the warmth of my kitchen rather than grill them and risk frostbite in the frozen tundra of my yard.

For this recipe, I make a dry rub similar to the seasoning found on barbecue potato chips. Also, I roast the chicken on a baking rack over a sheet pan allowing heat to circulate around the entire quarter and keep it out of the juices while it cooks. The end result is a well seasoned and perfectly roasted piece of chicken to devour.

BEHIND THIS BITE
Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters

I used this recipe for my print column but it contained only the rub portion. My space in the paper is limited so I decided to just use the seasoning part. This marks the first time I have broke apart a recipe and only used half for the paper. I have simplified recipes, but never left out a major part such as a brine or marinade like I have created here. I decided to do that because this rub is exceptional and is worth a try regardless of a marinade.

Soaking the chicken in buttermilk really does make a difference in the tenderness and moisture of the meat. I decided to add salt, sugar and a few select ingredients to impart flavor as well as tenderness. The end result was fall apart, juicy and flavorful meat. The buttermilk marinade, combined with the seasoning of the rub made for exceptional chicken. I can’t wait to adapt this recipe to the grill this summer.

Eat well, cook often ...

THE RECIPE
Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters

Serves 6 to 8; 1 hour 15 minutes active
4 to 12 hours inactive
3 C Buttermilk
1/4 C Salt
1 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Worcestershire
1 Tbs Hot sauce
1 Tbs Garlic, rough chop
5 lbs Chicken leg quarters
2 Tbs Paprika
2 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Salt
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1/2 Tbs Pepper
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Garlic powder

Marinate chicken
Mix together buttermilk, salt, sugar, Worcestershire, hot sauce and garlic. Place chicken quarters in 2 1-gallon zip-lock bags. Pour marinade over chicken, seal bags, place bags in container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, no more than 12.

Make rub, season chicken
Mix together paprika, sugar, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Remove chicken from marinade, rinse and pat dry with paper towel. Liberally coat quarters with rub. Let marinate 20 minutes.

Roast chicken

Preheat oven to 400°
Place chicken on a baking sheet fitted with a baking rack. When oven is ready roast until internal temperature reaches 165° and juices run clear, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10  minutes, then serve.

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