Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chicken Legs with Dry Spices and Lard

This is the perfect kind of recipe you want when you don't have much time in the kitchen, but you want something warm and satisfying. Most likely, you already have the spices in your kitchen.

Everyone should keep some lard. It keeps for quite a long time in the refrigerator and, in many ways, is better than butter or margarine.

This package of five chicken legs was less than three dollars. But I can't figure out why they are not packaged six. I like to think two legs per chicken and that no one's leg travelled afar . . .

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay's
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, lightly crushed
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • Kosher salt

Mix the dry ingredients together. You should have about one tablespoon. Lightly rub into room-temperature chicken legs to cover. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. I'd say no more than 1-2 tablespoons. You are not making a marinade, you just want to wet the dried spices to activate them. If possible, allow to sit, covered, for an hour or so.

Add two tablespoons of lard to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. When shimmering, add the legs. Be careful, they will sputter as they cook and release their juices.

Chicken legs really have four sides. Cook for about 15-20 minutes over medium-high heat just until they are golden brown.

Place in a pre-heated 375 F oven and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden brown and crusty. Remove pan from oven. Remove legs from pan and place on paper towel then on a rack or plate to cool a bit. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and enjoy! 

You could easily make a pan gravy from the drippings. Or, if you're bad like me, use them to dip in chunks of crusty bread. I served with this cole slaw--the kind you buy in the grocery store already shredded and with it's own pack of dressing. Doesn't get much easier than that!

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