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Recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken Legs

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Zach's writing ranges from matters of gardening, cooking, aquariums, and fish to more niche topics like coin collecting.

Here's how to make the perfect chicken legs.

Here's how to make the perfect chicken legs.

Transforming the Simple Into Gourmet

Chicken legs don't normally seem like a gourmet meal, but prepared the right way, this inexpensive cut goes upscale. An American dish through and through, this recipe features slow-roasted chicken legs served with garlic mashed potatoes and a lightly dressed parmesan salad. Slow-cooked with bacon and natural juices, the chicken is easily the star of the dish. Since there's no frying involved, this simple recipe is actually very healthy as well. So leave your preconceptions of these legs at the door, because they're seriously making a comeback.

In a time where meat prices seem to raise daily, it's a good idea to start turning towards less desired cuts to keep expenses to a minimum. With a little more care and attention, these lesser cuts of meat can produce depth and flavor you never thought possible. For this meal, organic free-range chicken legs are featured. Six large legs were purchased for the small price of $5.40. A similar weight in chicken breasts would have run a hefty $11.25. Budget smart, and eat great.

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Parmesan Salad

  • Lettuce of Choosing
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil

Chicken Gravy

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • Chicken Drippings

Oven-Baked Chicken Legs

  • 6 Free Range Chicken Legs
  • 3 Strips of Natural Uncured Bacon
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 6 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Garlic Sprouts and Bulbs (or Chives)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Milk
Chicken legs

Chicken legs

For a more refined presentation, try "lollipopping" your chicken legs. The process involves removing the bottom portion of the leg so that the bone and meat are exposed. I prefer the rustic look, so I do not do this.

Wrap the chicken in bacon!

Wrap the chicken in bacon!

You can leave the bacon on while you broil the chicken to crisp up the skin. However, I removed mine and saved them for a later meal.



Preparing the Meal

  1. Preheat the oven to 275F.
  2. Arrange chicken legs in a roasting pan. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut the bacon slices in half and place each half slice on top of the chicken legs. The bacon drippings will greatly enhance flavor and ensure that your chicken retains maximum moisture.
  4. Cover and seal the pan with aluminum foil. Two layers of foil should easily do the trick to hold in precious moisture.
  5. Place in oven and let bake for 2 1/2 hours.
  6. With an hour left on the chicken, begin to prepare the potatoes.
  7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel and halve the potatoes. Add to boiling water and cook for 40-45 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, prepare the salad greens and shave on some Parmesan cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the simple vinaigrette of white wine vinegar and olive oil. Keep the salad and dressing separate in the refrigerator.
  9. When potatoes are done (knife easily goes through potato), drain off water and place back on the stove. Mash with olive oil, then slowly incorporate milk until the desired consistency is reached.
  10. Add garlic sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from heat.
  11. By now the chicken should just about be ready.
  12. When the timer goes off, remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  13. To finish the chicken, remove it from the roasting pan and place it onto a baking tray. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes on each side. This process creates a golden brown and perfectly crisp skin.
  14. While finishing the chicken, you'll simultaneously be making the gravy. This is where having octopus abilities comes in handy!
  15. In a large skillet set to med-high heat, combine olive oil and flour. Allow the roux to cook for 3-4 minutes then add the chicken drippings. Stir well and add water if the gravy is too thick.


With the legs broiled and the gravy made, all that's left is to bring it all together. Scoop out some potatoes and neatly lay the chicken leg on them. Drizzle gravy over both the leg and the potatoes. Combine your salad greens and vinaigrette and add to the plate. A delicious dinner is now ready to be eaten!

I'd like to think that this dish is one of the best that classic American cuisine has to offer, but I'll let you be the judge! Although fairly timely, this meal is an easy fix that is great for any day of the week. Let chicken legs be the star of your next meal. Thank you for tuning into my recipe for oven-baked chicken legs. Please feel free to check out some of my other fresh recipes below: