Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Show Off Those Gams!

I grew up in a meat-and-potatoes mid-century American family, with the flow of beef only occasionally interrupted by a pork chop or a casserole. Though to her credit my mother was one of the first to make tacos and even fry the tortillas…no pre-folded, packaged versions for her!

The first time I remember having a roasted chicken was at my brother's, and I was dumbfounded. Not only was it one of the most mouthwateringly delicious meals I'd ever had, it was astonishingly simple to cook…you couldn't even call it a recipe, it was so basic. Needless to say, we have it regularly now, both roasted in the oven and over a wood fire on the grill.

I try to spare Dave the discomfort of standing outside in the cold wind and rain at this time of year…even though he stubbornly insists on grilling the turkey every November…and the other night I was craving roast chicken with root veggies. It occurred to me that chicken legs might work the same as whole chicken and ought to be slightly faster. I'd done something like it a couple of years before, but what I had in mind for tonight was much simpler.

A trip to the store, a little chopping, and an hour later dinner was ready. This is definitely a meal that could help get us through the winter in fine form.

Roasted Whole Chicken Legs with Root Vegetables

1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4-6 c. root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, squash, beets, turnips, etc., roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme or tarragon
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 whole chicken legs, skin on

Preheat oven to 375°. Put chopped onion, garlic and vegetables in large bowl. Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and put in 9" by 12" pyrex baking dish. Rub chicken legs with remaining olive oil and place on top of root vegetables. Bake for 30 min., remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place back in oven and roast another 30 minutes or until instant-read thermometer reads 160° when inserted into thickest part of thigh.

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