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Garlic and Balsamic Glazed Chicken Legs Recipe
Chicken is probably THE most versatile meat on the market and without a doubt one of the least expensive in the grocery store. Anything you can think of can be made using chicken – stir fry, burgers, casseroles, kebabs, curries, salads, soups and stews – and that is off the top of my head, the list goes on!
One of my kid’s favorites is chicken legs, cooked with olive oil, salt and pepper – they are happy little diners! Sometimes, I like to change it a little and add more flavors – so today I tried these Garlic and Balsamic Glazed Chicken Legs. The kids went crazy over the flavor, so now it became a favorite.
This recipe calls for balsamic glaze, which is totally different to balsamic vinegar. The glaze version is vinegar that has been reduced into a thick consistency and turns out more palatable for the vinegar haters. It is not overly sweet and I love it drizzled all over my salads, as it brings them alive – and it is healthier for me as well.
I actually used the store bought version in this recipe, as it was a gift and Iwould probably use it again, because it turned out so great and just to save the step of making it myself. However, making your own glaze is a lot less expensive than the tiny little bottle in the store, but it’s so good and easy to make.
1 large package chicken legs (12-14)
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Balsamic glaze (homemade recipe follows)
1. Wash the chicken legs and pat them dry. Slide your finger underneath the skin and loosen it (do not remove). Take a little of the crushed garlic on your index finger and rub it all around underneath the skin.
2. In a large bowl, drizzle the legs with a small amount of olive oil all over, then rub in a little kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place the legs alternate on a baking sheet as in picture one above – this will ensure even cooking. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over each chicken leg and rub in well (be generous)! Bake until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. with a thermometer not touching any bone or until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork the meatiest part of the leg.
I served this simply with arugula drizzled with the balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of parmesan flakes.
Serves 4 – 6
Homemade Balsamic Glaze
For every half a cup of glaze you need (which is plenty for this recipe) use at least 1 cup of balsamic vinegar. Kirkland brand (Costco) and Modena vinegars I use all of the time for cooking and salads – I recommend these. I use a rounded bottomed small skillet for this job, as it’s easier to use a spatula when you remove it from the pan.
Bring the vinegar (nothing else) to a gentle simmer and let it do its thing, stirring occasionally. When the vinegar starts looking sticky on the edges of the pan, you are almost there! When the vinegar looks thick and syrupy like breakfast syrup, it’s ready.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool completely. Store the vinegar in a container or bottle until ready to use. It’s great to keep this on hand in the refrigerator, because you never know when you need to liven up your recipes. Enjoy!
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