Spicy Chicken Legs are sure to become your new favorite chicken entree. The blend of 14 herbs and spices ramp up the flavor of the chicken, and the two-step cooking method allows the chicken to retain moisture as well as tenderizes. KFC has nothing on this dish!
Sprinkling the chicken with the spice blend before coating with flour allows the spices to adhere to the legs rather than get lost in the flour. This method also works well with chicken thighs. If you try it with chicken breasts, reduce the baking time by half.
Spicy Chicken Legs Recipe
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (may substitute cayenne pepper)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 (2-1/2 to 3 pounds) chicken legs (may substitute equal weight of drummettes or thighs)
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
Ranch dressing, optional
Line a 10- x 15-inch jelly roll pan with non-stick foil.
Whisk together brown sugar, salt, chipotle pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, mustard powder, cumin, black pepper, cocoa powder, thyme, oregano, tarragon, cinnamon, and basil. If you seen any clumps, use the back of a spoon to mash them out.
Place the flour in a zip-top plastic bag. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix to the flour and squish until combined.
Pat the chicken legs dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix liberally over all surfaces of the chicken legs. (If you have any excess seasoning, toss it in with the flour.) Add the seasoned chicken to the flour in batches. Shake to coat the pieces.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place a large, heavy, hard-anodized skillet (or cast iron) over medium heat. When hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Brown the chicken legs on all sides. Do this in batches, placing browned chicken on prepared jelly roll pan as you go. (More cooking is to come, so don’t worry about them cooking all the way through.)
Bake the browned chicken legs for 45 minutes. Serve with ranch dressing on the side, if desired. Colorful 7 Veggie Rice goes great with Spicy Chicken Legs.
Yield: 4 servings