I am a Whole Foods shopper for several reasons. The biggest reason is because I like good produce and getting into the best local store for produce, Market Basket, is a nightmare. If you live in Somerville, you’ve likely been stuck in the traffic on Somerville Ave. created by people going into their ridiculously large parking lot. The place is a zoo, so despite the fact that the produce is numero uno, I just cannot do it. I don’t stand in lines for bars, I don’t fight the women at VS for the underwear sale and I don’t sit in traffic in my car trying to get into the parking lot of the market so that I may fight the folks in the store for cart space. Back to Whole Paycheck, I mean Foods. I usually cruise the sale meat case to stock up on pretty much anything and a few weeks ago they had chicken legs for stupid cheap! So I bought a ton of it. I mean a ton. But I freeze it and all the frozen meat I hoard usually helps me plan meals for the week. Don’t have to think about protein! I’m not sure what got me to Asian flavor, but I think it might have had something to do with explaining to Josh what coconut aminos are and him sticking his nose up at the notion that we’d use it instead of soy sauce. Obviously I had to prove to him that he likes food he’s never tried. This has been a battle for the last 7 years. Try this one out just for the coconut aminos if nothing else.
12 chicken legs
1 cup coconut aminos
1 cup orange juice
1 heaping Tbsp fresh grated ginger
¼ fresh grated jalapeno
¼ cup honey
1 tsp dry minced onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2-3 Tbsp coconut oil
Mix all ingredient except for the chicken wings and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes to get the flavors well married. Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt ½ the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sear both sides of each chicken leg until golden brown. Note…this will not cook the chicken, just give it a crunch. You likely have to do this in batches unless you’ve got the world’s largest skillet. As the legs come off the skillet, add them to a large bowl. When all are finished, pour the sauce over them. It will be thin, don’t worry. Let sit until the legs have cooled all the way (at least 30 minutes). Then transfer all of it to a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but you could easily leave them overnight. After they’ve marinated, place them on a cooling rack on a baking sheet. This is key in order to crisp up both sides and prevent a total mess in your oven. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Bake the legs for 15 minutes. While they’re baking, transfer extra sauce liquid to a small saucepan. Add 1 tsp honey and heat to a boil, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Take the legs out of the oven and turn the heat down to 350 degrees. With a basting brush, brush one side of the wings with the warmed up sauce. Put them back in and let them bake for another 12 minutes. Take them out, flip them over and brush sauce on the other side. Let them bake for another 12 minutes. You’re going to want to watch them a bit and be aware of your oven because there is honey in them and they could burn, but you need them in the oven long enough to cook them through to the bone! So be a diligent cook. Don’t be scared, just be aware! When you take them out, sprinkle them with a bit of kosher or sea salt to finish.
A few thoughts here. First, these are super tasty to the point that I bit into the first one and blurted out, “I effing crushed this!” Josh agreed! Second, This is seriously impressive, so I’d suggest you cook it for someone! Plus 12 chicken legs is a ton! In my house, we eat in large quantities, but even we could only finish 7. Last, you could totally do this with chicken wings. You’d just want to adjust the time and temperature. Maybe I’ll test that one out for you another day!
Laid it over some sauteed bok choy and mushrooms, garnished with a little grated daikon radish.