When I was a kid, the local volunteer fire department would sell BBQ chicken once a year as a fundraiser. They’d make it over this giant outdoor fire pit, so it would have that charred, smokey flavor. Thus, my love affair with chicken legs began.
I remember being so excited when it was BBQ day, and my dad would bring home foil packets filled with delicious chicken. The legs were definitely my favorite. I think they still do that annual fundraiser. Hm…I might need to mark it on my calendar and make sure I visit my parents that weekend!
Anyway, today’s recipe is not for BBQ chicken, but it made me think of the fire company fundraiser chicken because the legs stay nice and juice, while the skin gets perfectly crispy. And because they’re baked instead of fried, it cuts back on the guilt! So go ahead, enjoy another one.
The first time I made these legs was for my boyfriend’s parents, so I was nervous that the recipe wouldn’t be great. But everyone loved them, and this dish is now in regular rotation in this house.
Part of the appeal of this recipe is that you can throw it together pretty quickly. Start by slicing your citrus and adding it to a baking dish with the chicken legs. Next, mix together the other ingredients, making sure to whisk out any lumps. Then, simply dump over the chicken.
If you’re really ambitious, you can make the day before and marinate over night in a plastic bag.
Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, until the juices in the chicken run clear. You might have to bake longer if you have large pieces of chicken.
Keep in mind that even though I always use legs, you can also add in some thighs. And if you are REALLY a white meat person, I guess you could use breasts instead. Just keep an eye on it so you cook long enough to be done, but not so long that it dries out.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 whole lemons
- 2 whole oranges
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tablespoons rosemary
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 10-12 pieces (about 4½ lbs.) bone-in chicken parts (thighs and legs are best), pat dry
- 1 medium onion (any kind), thinly sliced
- Slice one lemon and one orange. Add to baking dish with chicken legs.
- Mix together oil, juice from remaining fruit, sugar, and herbs. Pour over chicken.
- Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 400 degrees.