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How to Cook Whole Chicken Legs

Updated on October 18, 2015
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Gordon has been cooking and experimenting with food since childhood. He loves coming up with new and tasty culinary creations.

Whole roast chicken leg in bacon with roast potatoes and beans
Whole roast chicken leg in bacon with roast potatoes and beans

Chicken Leg Portions - More than Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken leg portions are widely available from supermarkets, often bulk vacuum packed. They are usually fairly inexpensive, consist of both the leg (drumstick) and thigh of the chicken and provide a tasty and satisfying meal portion cooked in many different ways. This page is about looking at how to cook chicken leg portions to succulent deliciousness and providing a variety of ideas for serving accompaniments.

Roast Chicken Leg Portion

A simple dish which sees a chicken leg portion roasted whole and served with homemade chips
A simple dish which sees a chicken leg portion roasted whole and served with homemade chips

Note: This incredibly simple roast chicken leg is served with homemade chips. If you are making the chips yourself from scratch, this will affect the preparation and cooking times.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: One

Ingredients

  • One chicken leg portion
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • White pepper
  • Homemade chips or French fries

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F/200C. Drizzle the chicken leg liberally with olive oil and use your hands to rub it evenly all over the skin. Season well with sea salt and a little white pepper.
  2. Lay the chicken leg on a roasting tray and cook in the oven for forty-five minutes, by which time the skin should be beautifully crispy and golden. Rest for ten minutes and serve with your hot chips or fries.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chicken is ready to roastChips are drained on kitchen paperRoast chicken leg portion
Chicken is ready to roast
Chicken is ready to roast
Chips are drained on kitchen paper
Chips are drained on kitchen paper
Roast chicken leg portion
Roast chicken leg portion

Tip! Storing Raw Chicken Leg Portions in the Fridge - Don't leave them in their original packaging

If you buy a number of uncooked chicken leg portions in a vacuum pack and are not cooking them all straight away, you should of course store them in your refrigerator. It is important, however, not to leave them in their opened, original packaging. Not only will they spoil more quickly, they could contaminate everything else in your fridge. Instead, transfer them to a plastic dish as shown, with a lid, where they will keep perfectly well for up to a couple of days.

Tandoori Chicken Leg Portion with Naan Bread and Raita

Tandoori Chicken Leg Portion with Naan Bread and Cucumber and Mint Raita
Tandoori Chicken Leg Portion with Naan Bread and Cucumber and Mint Raita

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: Ideally overnight

Serves: One

Ingredients

  • Chicken leg portion
  • 1 tsp tandoori curry powder
  • 2 tbsp soured cream
  • 3 " piece of cucumber
  • 4 or 5 fresh mint leaves plus small sprig to granish
  • Salt
  • Naan bread

Instructions

  1. Ideally, the chicken leg portion should be marinated in the curry powder overnight. If this is not practical, try to at least give it a couple of hours. Simply scatter the powder of=ver the chicken leg and rub it in with your hands. Place it in a plastic dish with a lid and in to the fridge.
  2. The raita is also best made a couple of hours in advance. Although yoghurt is normally used to make raita, soured cream was used just for a change. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard the pulp with a teaspoon. Finely dice the flesh and shred the mint leaves. Mix in to the soured cream and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
  3. Cook the chicken leg in the oven at 400F/200C for forty minutes. Sit aside to rest for about ten minutes and while your naan bread is prepared per the instructions on the packet.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Marinating chicken leg portionCucumber, mint and soured creamPreparing mint raitaMixing mint raitaChicken leg portion is left to rest
Marinating chicken leg portion
Marinating chicken leg portion
Cucumber, mint and soured cream
Cucumber, mint and soured cream
Preparing mint raita
Preparing mint raita
Mixing mint raita
Mixing mint raita
Chicken leg portion is left to rest
Chicken leg portion is left to rest

Poached Chicken Leg Portion with Mint Buttered Potatoes

Poached Chicken Leg Portion with Mint Buttered Potatoes
Poached Chicken Leg Portion with Mint Buttered Potatoes

When chicken is poached, it can often be dry, tasteless and extremely unappetising. This method of poaching chicken is specifically designed to eliminate that risk and although the cooking/preparation time is fairly long, it is mostly hands-off and the results make it more than worthwhile.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hours 45 min
Ready in: 3 hours
Yields: One

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken leg portion
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt plus extra for potatoes
  • 6 baby new potatoes
  • Little bit of butter
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • Frozen peas as desired

Instructions

  1. Slice or chop the onion and add it to a large pot with the sea salt, black peppercorns and lightly crushed garlic clove. Add the chicken leg portion and plenty of cold water, ensuring the leg is comfortably covered. Bring the water in the pot to a simmer for forty-five minutes, turning the leg over half way through cooking.
  2. Turn the heat off under the pot and put the lid on. Leave the chicken leg in the water for a couple of hours, to cool completely.
  3. Put the unpeeled potatoes in to a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a simmer for about half an hour, until soft. Drain and return to the pot along with the butter and shredded mint leaves. Swirl the pot gently to ensure even coating.
  4. Cook the frozen peas per the instructions on the packet. This usually involves a two to three minute submersion in boiling water. Drain and plate your meal.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Poaching accompaniments for chickenChicken ready for poachingButter and mint is added to potatoes
Poaching accompaniments for chicken
Poaching accompaniments for chicken
Chicken ready for poaching
Chicken ready for poaching
Butter and mint is added to potatoes
Butter and mint is added to potatoes

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Roast Chicken Leg in Bacon with Pan Roasted Potatoes

Bacon Wrapped Roast Chicken Leg Portion with Pan Roasted Potatoes
Bacon Wrapped Roast Chicken Leg Portion with Pan Roasted Potatoes
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: One

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken leg portion
  • 3 rashers of back bacon (or bacon as available)
  • 6 baby new potatoes
  • White pepper
  • Baked beans in tomato sauce to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put the potatoes unpeeled in to a pot of cold water and bring the water to a boil. Simmer for twenty-five to thirty minutes until the potatoes are just soft. Drain through a colander, return them to the empty pot, cover and leave for at least an hour to cool completely.
  2. Lightly oil a roasting tray and put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C. Season the chicken leg portion with white pepper only and carefully wrap in the bacon rashers. Lay it on the oiled tray fleshy side uppermost. Cook in the oven for forty-five minutes.
  3. Pierce the chicken thigh with a skewer to ensure the juices run clear and set aside to rest for ten minutes while you roast the potatoes.
  4. The skin should peel easily from the cooled potatoes by hand. Roast in hot oil for five or six minutes until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper before plating up for service.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chicken is wrapped in bacon and placed on an oiled baking trayCooked and cooled potatoes are peeled for roastingRoasted potatoes are drained on kitchen paper
Chicken is wrapped in bacon and placed on an oiled baking tray
Chicken is wrapped in bacon and placed on an oiled baking tray
Cooked and cooled potatoes are peeled for roasting
Cooked and cooled potatoes are peeled for roasting
Roasted potatoes are drained on kitchen paper
Roasted potatoes are drained on kitchen paper

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