Poor, poor chicken. It gets so hated on. Too dry. Too plain. Too boring. Well yeah, I suppose it could be all those things if you don’t do anything to it and just threw it in the oven. With a little creativity chicken can be great again.
One of the problems with chicken, is we tend to always reach for the same cut of meat. It is a good idea, not only for the taste buds, but also for our bodies to mix that up once in a while.
Dark meat gets a bad rap as being less healthy then white meat. While dark meat does have more fat, it also has more iron, zinc, niacin and riboflavin. Plus, it does not have a huge amount more fat. 100 grams of chicken leg, roasted without the skin has 8 grams. While 100 grams of cooked chicken breast without the skin has 4 grams. The trick here is not to serve chicken legs with a fatty side dish. If you are serving chicken legs, you need to consider the meat your protein and fat source for the meal.
Now about that chicken skin. It is crispy and delicious. It’s super fatty and unhealthy, or is it?
One chicken leg roasted with the skin on has 9 grams of fat (3 grams coming from saturated fat) and that same chicken leg cooked without the skin has 5 grams of fat (1 gram saturated). So, yes it does have more fat, but not tons more. In the end, it really is ok to eat the chicken skin occasionally!
If you are still uncomfortable with that amount of fat you can do skinless. Just do not by the overpriced skinless meat. Remove the skin yourself and you can save quite a bit of money. I find it easiest to grip the skin with a paper towel and pull. However, when roasting or grilling the meat I advise you do not remove the skin off before cooking. Cooking with the skin intact helps keep the meat tender and flavorful. You can remove it prior to eating.
Below is my simple chicken quarters recipe, but it would also work for chicken breast. You might balk at the use of dill here, but it goes really well with the soy sauce. I promise. The soy sauce helps to make the chicken skin extra flavorful and crispy. If you are planning to remove the skin before eating then, make sure you put the seasoning UNDER the skin.
Simple Roasted Chicken Quarters
- 4 skin on, bone in chicken leg quarters
- soy sauce, about 1/3 cup
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill weed
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Using paper towels pat dry the chicken. Gently slip one finger between the skin and the meat and loosen the skin from the meat. Making sure skin still stays attached.
- Place chicken pieces on large glass baking dish.
- Using a marinade brush, brush under the skin with soy sauce.
- Brush entire legs with remaining soy sauce. (You don’t need to use all the soy sauce. Just until the chicken has been completely painted)
- Sprinkle with seasonings. (If you plan to not eat the skin, put the seasoning under the skin)
- Place on middle rack and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour.
- If the skin did not crisp up, increase oven temp to 400 and continue to cook for about 5 to 10 mins. Keep a close eye on it so the skin doesn’t burn.
- Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temp of 165.