Roasted Chicken Legs with Lemon and Oregano
Adapted from Bon Appetit

I tweaked the recipe a bit. I didn’t quite understand why list 1/2 garlic clove so I used 1 smallish clove – worked out fine. Likewise, I decided to use 1 shallot and not a tablespoon of it. I streamlined some directions and suggested a substitute for wine, should you not wish to open a whole bottle of wine just to use 1/4 cup of it in a recipe (unless of course you want to drink the wine with your dinner!) Since you do need some olive oil to start with, but there is no way that you will spread 1 teaspoon (!) of oil in a very large skillet, I suggested you use a pastry brush to do it. And I think that in order to get the crispiest skin possible, you must start with the driest chicken possible, so I make a suggestion to pat it dry.

1 lemon
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken legs, split into thighs and drumsticks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus additional
3 sprigs fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc), optional
1/2 cup chicken broth, use more broth if skipping wine

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Very thinly slice half of lemon; discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

2. Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon of oil and, using a pastry brush, spread the oil over the bottom of the skillet in a thin layer. Pat the chicken as dry as you can using paper towels, and add chicken, skin side down. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes. If a lof of fat renders out, tilt the skillet to one side and gently spoon the excess fat out to maintain a thin coating on the bottom.

3. Scatter half of lemon slices over chicken and half on bottom of skillet (the slices on top of the chicken will soften; those in the skillet will caramelize). Transfer skillet to the oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, about 15 minutes.

4. Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.) Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

5. Add the wine, if using, and cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth, and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.

Serves 4 to 6.

© 2024 Olga Massov