(serves 2 for meal, 4 for snack)
This is a simple way of roasting really delicious chicken legs. If there is one meat you need to roast well, its chicken. Roast chicken is the intermediate ingredient for many other wonders of the kitchen, like chicken sandwiches and chicken salads. Some herbs in the marinate and pancetta, a type of Italian bacon, is all you really need to bring out the best flavours in your roast chicken. Best of all, this recipe is easy, good for those times you can’t afford to expend too much effort preparing food.
- Chicken Legs with Thigh (4)
- Diced Pancetta (80g)
- Trim off the loose flaps of skin on the chicken if any and pad with paper towels to dry them. If you have time, leave the chicken in the fridge uncovered for a few hours to dry it out, but this is an optional step you can skip if you don’t have time.
- Dissolve 1t of salt in 3T of olive oil and then add 1.5t rosemary, 1.5t thyme and 0.5t pepper. Mix well.
- Marinate the chicken and then leave the legs in a baking pan for an hour for the flavor to set in. The herbs like to stick to the parts of the chicken with no skin, so make sure the herbs cover the chicken evenly.
- Sprinkle the diced pancetta on and around the chicken (see the photo below).
- Bake for 35-40 minutes in the oven preheated to 175oC (350oF) depending on the size of the legs. Increase the temperature to 200oC for the last 10 minutes if you like your chicken browned to a bronze shade.
- That’s basically it, but there are a few options you can pick from for the chicken drippings (including the pancetta bits).
- Meal – Boil two potatoes ahead of time and roughly mash the potatoes in the drippings and 1/4 cup milk.
- Snack – Mix 1 t dijon mustard into the drippings to make a nice mustard gravy.
- Sandwich – If you are going to make roast chicken sandwiches, just shred the chicken meat and then drench the meat with the drippings (plus 2T mayonnaise if you want it creamy).
- Pancetta can be bought pre-diced at the right supermarket/deli. There are usually two flavours, savoury and sweet. Make sure you don’t buy the sweet type (labled dolce) by accident.
- In case you were wondering. Pancetta is salt cured, seasoned with spices like nutmeg and fennel, and matured over a period of at least 3 months. It may look similar to but its not the same as bacon.
- Can you use chicken breasts instead? Yes. But you should brine them first, and the recipe won’t be simple anymore. Also, its crucial to get the cooking time exact for breasts. When you breasts begin to shrink a bit, that’s when they are ready.