Simple Extra Crispy Oven Roasted Chicken Quarters

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.

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The extra crispy skin on these chicken leg quarters make it extra tasty. 

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.

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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

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. 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.
  3. Place chicken pieces on large glass baking dish.
  4. Using a marinade brush, brush under the skin with soy sauce.
  5. 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)
  6. Sprinkle with seasonings. (If you plan to not eat the skin, put the seasoning under the skin)
  7. Place on middle rack and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour.
  8. 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.
  9. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temp of 165.

 

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Quick and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I don’t know about where you are, but it is FINALLY cold here in North Texas. Like cold enough it is snowing!  Ok they are just flurries. (I will always be a Midwesterner at heart).  Cold weather means soup time. This Chicken Tortilla soup one of my all-time favorite soup recipes.  Mainly for the fact it only takes 20 minutes while still being healthy and satisfying.

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There are two time saving short cuts in this recipe. The first is, instead of baking up chicken to use, just grab a rotisserie from your local grocery store.  I liked to drain off all the extra fat when I get home and remove the skin.  If it’s cool enough, I remove all the meat.  For this recipe all you need is the breast meat (skin removed) so save the extra meat from the thigh, legs and wings for adding into salads.

The second time saver is using the blender instead of having it simmer all day long. Throwing it in the blender or using an immersion blender will give a a great texture without having to cook it for a long period of time.  Please note, if using a blender do not place the clear plastic filler cup on the lid.  Leave the middle hole open.  When you blend it, place a tea towel over the hole to let the steam escape.

Instead of using tortilla chips for the topping,  we are baking our own using fresh tortillas. Don’t worry it only takes 10 minutes and they are lower in fat and tastier too! I am big fan of baking up my own tortilla chips, that way I don’t have a big open bag laying around tempting me.  I just bake as many as needed.

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Quick and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup Corn Meal
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp, chili powder.
  • 1 tsp, Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ garlic powder
  • 1 avocado
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • 8 tortillas, Tortillas
  • Chicken breast from rotisserie chicken, skin removed. (approx. 12 oz)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut corn tortillas into ½ inch strips.  Light spritz with cooking spray and salt. Cook for 10 minutes till crispy but not burnt.
  2. In a large pot heat oil. Cook onion, green bell and carrots till starting to soften.  About 8 minutes.
  3. Dump in diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a bowl.
  4. Add in the corn meal and approx. ¼ of the crunchy corn tortillas.
  5. Add in salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano and garlic powder.
  6. Carefully pour entire soup pot into a blender or use an immersion blender. Blend till smooth. **If using a blender, when placing the top in the blender do not insert the plastic fill cup. Leave the hole open in the lid and hold a tea towel over the lid.  This is very important; it allows the steam to escape. Otherwise it will blow up on you and you will have a steamy hot mess! **
  7. Shred chicken breasts.
  8. Return to soup pot and add in chicken and frozen corn. Reheat till warm. And top individual bowls with diced avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, green onion and cilantro.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Makes approximately 6 servings.  Each serving is about 1 ½ cups and has:  278 calories, 9 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams protein.

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Margherita Egg White Frittata

Recently I was gifted a very large bunch of basil and this recipe was born out of me desperately trying to come up with ways to use it before it went bad.  And I must say, it was a success.  I love basil, and there so many ways to use it other than pesto.  Basil isn’t just big on flavor; it also packs an amazingly healthy punch.  It is full of vitamin K, magnesium and potassium.  Also, research is showing the phytochemicals in basil can fight viruses, bacteria and inflammation.

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Now, to be honest, I did not test this recipe out on my children (I was hungry and not in the mood to share. Hey now, it happens.) But, I imagine most kids would like it.  I used all egg whites in the recipe, but feel free to sub in whole eggs (just note that will change the nutritional breakdown).

Due to the high protein content it is very filling while still being low in carbs (if you would like more carbs, some fresh fruit would go really well with it.) This frittata makes a great brunch or dinner.  Since does take a little attention and time, however, it is not the best choice for a rushed morning.

 

Margherita Egg White Frittata.

Serves 1

5 Oz Egg whites

3.5 Oz Grape tomatoes, sliced (any tomato will probably work here, this was just what I had on hand)

1 Oz Fresh mozzarella cheese

1 Tb Parmesan Cheese

2 Tb Basil, shredded

 

Place small skillet over medium heat and spritz with cooking oil.  Once hot, place tomato slices on skillet.  After a few minutes, pour egg whites over the tomatoes.  Once the sides begin to set, use a spatula to gently left the edges allowing the still liquid whites to run under.   As you lift the edge of the set egg, gently tip the pan so the uncooked egg can run underneath. Continue to do this till almost cooked through. It will still be a little raw in the middle.   Add mozzarella slices and over with a lid (keep an eye on it though, you don’t want it to burn).  Once the eggs are fully set turn over on to a plate and sprinkle with basil and parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

 

Nutrition:

Calories: 192 Fat:6 Carbs:5 protein: 25

Chicken with strawberries, basil and goat cheese.

This protein packed recipe is  great when you are short on time. It is also family friendly.  My littles (age 5 and 2 love it).  The whole recipe takes only 30 minutes to throw together.  The combination of the strawberries, goat cheese and basil go really well together.  It’s easily adaptable to different family member’s tastes. For example, I leave the balsamic off my 2-year old’s plate, and I don’t add the goat cheese to the 5-year old’s.

Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, A and K.  Make sure you choose berries that are dry and firm.  Smaller berries tend to have more flavor then the larger ones. Typically, the larger berries contain more water so, their flavor is diluted.

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While boneless skinless chicken breasts are a great lean protein source they can be tough to cook.  They easily become chewy or dry.  This is a quick cooking method, so there is less time for them to dry out. Make sure you do not use more than 1 tablespoon of oil when cooking them though.  It just needs to be enough to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. We are pan frying these guys, not deep frying! The easiest and cleanest way to pound the chicken is to place it in a gallon zip lock, and smack the crap out of it with a heavy skillet or pan.  Great way to get your aggressions out and the ziplock keeps all the chicken germs from flying around your kitchen.

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The Ingredients

4 Chicken breast, boneless skinless.

1 Tb cooking oil. (I like coconut oil)

Salt and pepper

2 Lbs green beans, washed and trimmed

1 Tb oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

kosher salt

black pepper

16 strawberries, washed hulled and chopped

2 Tb basil, chopped

2 oz goat cheese crumbles (feta would be great here too)

Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400. Trim the green beans.  Toss with oil and salt. Place on a cookie sheet/pan. (Make sure they are dry 1st).  Roast for 20-25 mins, shaking the pan every 10-15 mins.  They are done when wrinkly and brown in spots.

Meanwhile, pound the chicken thin.  You’ll want them to be uniform in thickness.  Heat oil in skillet to medium high.  Season chicken with salt and pepper. Once oil is hot, place chicken in skillet and cooked undisturbed for 3- 5 mins per side.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  (If you are making all 4 breasts, you may need to cook 2 at a time.  Do not crowd them in the pan)

To serve: Place chicken breast on top of 1.5 cups green beans and top with ½ cup chopped strawberries, ½ oz crumbled goat cheese, a sprinkle of basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

 

Nutrition (with 1.5 cups green beans, 4 oz chicken and ½ oz goat cheese):

Calories:377 carbs:16  fat:14  protien:41