Monday, August 23, 2010

Pan Seared Chicken Legs

I know I know. It's been a while and I have nothing but the same old excuse to put forward. But hey, to make things a little fun let me talk about something new. At least it created a lot of excitement in our little household. I am talking about the 'Next Food Network Star' from Food Networks. I had watched Season 1 long time back and then this season 6 is the next one I got to watch. Good timing since the final Star ended up being a cook with Indian background.  Liked all the finalists but was extra glad to see Aarti win. Missed her first episode this last Sunday but won't be missing anymore since it is being recorded. I am looking forward to her American recipes with Indian flavor in the hopes of getting the kiddos back on track with homemade food. Little tummies are being monopolized by burgers, pizza, cold sandwiches and the likes lately. Keeping to this spirit I tried out a chicken recipe that was on the Food Network site by Cheryl Smith with a mild Indian update and it worked wonders and earned 4 fans right away!

I hope it is OK with Food n/w and Cheryl Smith for me to write it up here.

In The Mix

chicken drumsticks with skin on - 6 (recipe calls for chicken breasts. tried both & prefer drumsticks)
olive oil - 3 tbsp (to be used in halves)
kosher salt - to taste
freshly ground black pepper - enough to cover the pieces well
herbs - enough to sprinkle on (had no fresh herbs. dried rosemary and thyme worked well and dried basil and parsley equally good)
garam masala - 1/2 tbsp (from 1:1:1 mix of cardamom:cloves:cinnammon powders)
garlic cloves - 8-10 peeled and crushed

How To Do

Preheat oven to 400F.

Wash and drain the drumsticks well. If using chicken breasts, I found cutting into large pieces resulted in yummier fare. Cover the pieces with half of the oil. Make deep scores in the meat if needed. Now season each piece with a good amount of pepper and salt. This is very crucial. Don't be shy with the salt and pepper. Add in the garam masala too at this time.

Heat oil in a pan and add the pieces one by one with skin side down. Sprinkle on the herbs and add garlic to the oil.

Cook over medium high heat. When the skin gets golden brown, turn over and repeat for a minute or 2. Now spread the pieces on a baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes or as needed. Remove from oven, drain on paper towels and get ready to eat the tenderest juiciest chicken ever. Perfect with yogurt and rice/vermicelly pulau. What makes it even easier is to do the frying part in an oven ready pan. Then we can just push the whole thing into the oven right after the frying step and baking time gets down to 8-10 minutes. Just great!