Chicken quarter with leg attached, served with onions and roast pumpkin.
One of my best friends lives in Madrid, Spain. We’ve known each other for almost 15 years. Since moving to Spain about eight years ago we only get to see each other every one to two years. He came to visit his family and friends last month and he brought me a little present – Spanish saffron.
Given the cost of airfare these days that’s probably the most expensive saffron I’ve ever had in my spice cupboard!
For this weeks recipe I created a simple but absolutely delicious meal. When I went grocery shopping, chicken leg quarters were on sale and too good to pass up. I normally prefer chicken breast, but when it comes to shopping on a budget I will always choose what’s on sale.
In fact, I made this recipe two weeks ago when skinless chicken breast (bone-in) were on sale. The only problem was that they were so good! We ate them all before I had the chance to take a picture of the finished meal on a plate.
When I first made this recipe I had no idea at the grocery store what I would do with the chicken. This recipe is an example of using food staples that I had on hand. I had a bit more than a cup of white wine in the fridge and I wanted to use it because there was no way I was going to drink it. It was left over from a Saturday night when we had friends over. Someone brought the bottle– it was cheap and pretty nasty to drink, but that’s the best kind to use for cooking.
I always have organic butter in the fridge and was fortunate enough to have grass-fed butter for a change (which was only available for a couple of months in the late summer). I wanted to make something with a nice color and subtle flavors. Bingo! Chicken legs roasted in a sauce of saffron, a touch of ground cardamom, Himalayan sea salt, butter and white wine.
Melt the butter in a roasting pan or Pyrex baking dish. A simple trick is to put the pan on top of the stove burner that's also the exhaust for the oven.
Peel the onions and cut off the core. Slice or cut in half and then into quarters.
At the onion, spices and the white wine to the pan. (By the way, this was not the cheap wine!)
Prepare the chicken. If you're using chicken leg quarters like I did, there was a lot of extra fat and skin that I cut off prior to cooking.
Place the chicken leg quarters in the pan, bone side down. You won't turn the chicken during cooking so you want the skin side up which will keep the meat moist.
Grind some more fresh pepper on top of the chicken skin.
Roast in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Test for doneness using a meat fork. Insert through the thickest part of the meet until you hit the bone. If the juice comes out clear and yellow it's done. If it's in any way cloudy or pink cook for another five minutes and check again.
Below you'll see my first version of the recipe using skinless, bone-in chicken breasts.
This recipe will work with whatever your preference, e.g., skinless chicken half breasts (bone in) or boneless & skinless, or any variation of chicken thighs.