7.01.2011

Grilled Chicken Legs - Cheap & Tasty



I have a produce problem. I know I'm not alone. I go overboard at the farmer's market or grocery store, buying more than I can eat before some of it goes bad. It looks so good, sitting there being all healthy and fresh. I want to take it home with me. There's always a plan for each handful of snap peas or pint of berries, but inevitably some lovely recipe doesn't get made and the innocent veggie ends up  in the trash.

In an attempt to control my produce habit, I steeled myself before entering Trader Joe's on my last trip and swore to leave with only my TJ standards - (frozen berries for morning smoothies, flax seeds/oil, unsweetened cranberry juice, stevia) and meat. I wasn't sure what was at home in the vegetable drawer, but I knew that to satisfy my urge to buy, I needed to point myself towards proteins.

I skipped the relatively expensive steaks and tenderloins and found a package of organic chicken legs. I know it's not the prettiest thing to look at, but the proof is on the label: 1.7 pounds of legs for $3.36! Plus, TJ's claims that these are free-range and raised without antibiotics.

Back at home, I decided to cook the chicken on my gas grill. I also have a charcoal grill, but for legs, the gas grill works really well because of the longer cooking time. I made up an easy spice paste and slathered it all over the legs and under the skin.

While the chicken cooked, I went to the vegetable drawer on a rescue mission. I found bibb lettuce, red pepper and scallions and put together a big side salad. Once the legs were charred to perfection, I sat down to a simple but satisfying weekday supper. The two legs I ate cost about $1.50 and the salad was money already spent that wasn't going to waste. (Maybe about another $2.50 worth of food.) Overall, a lot of flavor without breaking the bank and the satisfaction of using up some of my produce.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Legs with Spice Paste

For the spice paste:
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (add more if you like it spicy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 1/2 - 2 pounds chicken legs with skin
Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat grill with all burners on.

Mix up all ingredients for spice paste and rub over chicken legs and under skin. Refrigerate until grill is ready.

Turn one side of grill off completely. Arrange legs on cooler side of grill and close the lid. Leave for 10-15 minutes, then turn each leg over. Close and cook for another 5 minutes. Move chicken to hot side and grill until nicely browned on all sides, about 4-5 more minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on the chicken while browning - move it out of flare-ups and keep turning frequently. Serve with lemon wedges and something green and fresh.

5 comments:

Abra Alani said...

I saw this link on Pinterest, and since I am a lover of fried chicken legs, I had to take a look. I'm going to try my hand at this recipe tonight! Thanks for posting it!

Anonymous said...

Just made this on my gas grill and LOVED it. Ran some over to the neighbor and she loved it too! Thanks for sharing it. The grilling technique worked perfectly. Extremely juicy and thoroughly cooked!

Anonymous said...

Should i check if its cooked all the way by poking it with a thermo..?

Anonymous said...

Dont squeeze the Charmin or poke the chicken

Anonymous said...

You don't say what TEMPERATURE the grill should be at when you turn off one side. That info would be helpful.