Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Broiled chicken legs and thighs

I have mentioned at least a couple of times how I pressure cook a chicken to make dog food (with brown rice and frozen vegetables). Each time I do it I save either the breast portion or the legs and thighs for human consumption.
I "borrowed" the above picture from another website. My thanks and apologies. You certainly can leave the legs and thighs attached, but I am in the habit of separating them. I don't think it particularly matters, so suit yourself.

America’s Test Kitchen did a number on what they call “picnic chicken” a few months ago. We tried it 2 or 3 times and, while it was good, it wasn’t great. The following recipe comes under the category “great” in my book. Using all the various techniques I’ve come to espouse in recent years, I made this up yesterday. It may be the best version of chicken I have ever made.

Chicken is hard to screw up. After all, you can grill, poach, roast, or fry it. The only trick is to get it cooked through but not over-cooked. If you use an instant read thermometer you should be golden.

Broiled chicken legs and thighs
2 chicken legs and 2 chicken thighs
Dry rub (recipe below)
2 tbsp salt
2 cups water

Dissolve the salt in the water and put it and the chicken in a freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can, seal, and place the bag in a large bowl and then into the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably 3 hours.

Remove and rinse the chicken with cold water. Dry the pieces well with paper towels. Place a clean paper towel on a plate and put the chicken on it. Coat the chicken with the dry rub. Put the plate of chicken into the refrigerator uncovered for an hour or two. Remove 45 minutes before cooking and allow to come to room temperature.

Preheat the broiler and place the oven rack on the second location below the heating element. This is important: if you use the top location the chicken will burn. Here’s a hint about broiling in the oven: if you close the oven door the heating element in an electric oven will cycle on and off and you will be baking more than broiling. Every oven I’ve ever had has a position for the door which leaves it open a few inches. The purpose for this door setting is clearly for broiling. With the oven door ajar the heating element will remain on throughout the cooking time. It has been years since I've had a gas oven (although I would prefer to have one), so I'm not sure if the gas broiler element will cycle off if the door is closed. If you don't know about your gas oven, do a test run.

Put the chicken on a wire rack on a raised-sided baking sheet. Place under the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes and then rotate the pan 180°. Broil 5 more minutes and then turn the chicken pieces over. Broil for 5 minutes and turn your oven to “bake” and set the temperature to 350°. Close the oven door and allow to continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature. If it has reached 160° remove it from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. If it’s not quite there, just leave it in the oven for a few more minutes with the oven turned off.

Dry rub
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground white or black pepper
PLEASE NOTE: do not add salt to the chicken after brining.

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

For a free excerpt of my book, “A Year of Food,” in which I opine, report, cook, muse and philosophize about everything that passed my lips for an entire year, write to me at:

No comments:

Tuesday Tag-Along

Tuesday Tag-Along

Foodie BlogRoll