The best thing about baking chicken is that it’s fast, easy and simply delicious. There are literally hundreds of recipes out there and the best part is that as an ingredient, chicken is really easy to work with. It adapts well to innumerable marinades and can be paired with a number of spices. In fact, each culture around the globe has its own way of baking this accommodating meat.
My recipe for baked chicken legs wrapped in bacon is one such super easy recipe which yields a protein packed and scrumptious meal. I prefer to use the whole leg of chicken instead of just the drumstick. That way, I am able to get one medium sized piece of meat on a plate and paired with some stir fried vegetables and mashed potatoes it makes a complete plateful of meal that is enough to satiate children and adults alike. I prefer to use pork bacon for the wrapping instead of chicken bacon because I believe that pork is a juicier meat and the flavour increases.
My marinade is a mixture of continental and Indian spices to suit the palate of my family but you can use any marinade of your choice. Here is how I make the recipe.
- 4 legs of chicken, skinless
- 12 rashes/strips of pork bacon (we need enough to wrap the meat)
For the marinade
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil/refined oil
- 1 table spoon mustard (English or Dijon)
- 1 ½ tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon paprika/kashmiri red chilli powder
- Pat the chicken legs dry and score them as shown in the picture to ensure that the marinade is absorbed into the meat. Keep aside along with the bacon strips.
- In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients for the marinade and mix them well.
- Add the chicken to the above and massage the marinade into the flesh but with gentle fingers. Keep the marinated chicken aside for at least half hour.
- Preheat oven to 200 deg C
- After half hour, wrap the marinated legs in the bacon strips and ensure that all the meat is covered.
- Place the wrapped chicken legs in a baking dish and bake at 200 deg C for about half hour to 40 minutes. In a microwave oven this could take as long as 40 minutes but in a regular oven the process should take around 20-25 minutes so keep a check on the meat around the 20minute mark. If you feel that your meat is burning then cover the meat with aluminum foil.
- Check the preparedness of the meat by inserting a toothpick through the thickest part. If it slides right in, then the chicken is cooked.
- Take the chicken out of the oven and cover it with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes to allow the chicken to rest in the meat.
- Serve hot with a side dish of pan fried vegetables and mashed potatoes – https://onsonalstable.com/mashed-potatoes/
Note – You can also grill the chicken on a grill pan on the gas stove. Heat the grill pan on high flame till it is nice and hot and drizzle over some olive/refined oil. Lay the chicken pieces down on the pan and lower the heat to medium and let the meat grill for about 6-7 minutes on each side. Be careful when you turn it over because the bacon wrap may come undone.