January 9, 2010

Baked Deviled Chicken Legs and Creamy Parmesan Orzo

It seems that lately I have been getting a lot of inspiration from other food blogs and websites. I just don't have the energy to be very creative. Also, I rationalize that other people produce food blogs/websites to be used...right???? Right!!! Well, this recipe is no exception. I found this dish on a website I follow called Simply Recipes. Okay...not the exact recipe, but one that I could tailor to my needs. My plan is to adapt the general recipe flavor profile into something that will work for us.

I found some frozen chicken legs in my freezer from last July (eekkkk!!!). My original idea for these legs was to do a "shake and bake" type of thing, but that sounded a little too boring. I don't typically buy packaged breading mixes, so I knew I wanted to make something up on my own. However, I wanted a baked and breaded chicken leg dish that used components that I have not tried to put together myself. Something just a little out of the norm. I found this recipe suited for chicken wings, but I think the ingredients are versatile enough to use for my legs. I decided that I would make a hybrid recipe of my Jen's Baked Buffalo Chicken Legs dish and this Spicy Breaded Chicken Wings recipe from Simply Recipes. I think I will serve our chicken with a side of Creamy Parmesan Orzo (one of my favorite Cooking Light recipes) and some steamed veggies. I am looking forward to fusing these two dishes together for our evening meal.

Baked Deviled Chicken Legs
Partially adapted from: Simply Recipes

cooking spray
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs or Panko (I will probably use a combo of both. Fresh bread crumbs are preferred)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
4-6 chicken legs (skin-on, bone-in)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place wire rack on a cookie sheet, spray with cooking spray, and set aside. (I use a cookie cooling rack for my wire rack.)

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, canola oil, white wine vinegar, dry mustard, and cayenne. In another bowl toss together the Parmesan and bread crumbs.

Working one at time, coat the chicken wings with the mustard mixture, rubbing the mixture in well. Then press the legs into the bread crumb mixture, making sure to coat all sides well with the bread crumbs. Place the legs on the prepared cookie sheet rack.

Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees; or until juices run clear, chicken is cooked through, and crust is golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

The Result:
This was just so-so. It is completely possible that the 'meh' result was my fault. Maybe I didn't adapt the ingredients quantities appropriately for the cut of chicken that I used (i.e. the legs vs. the wings used in the original recipe). I am not sure...but we were under-whelmed, to say the least. I thought the tang of the mustard seasoning was good, but it wasn't as zesty as I thought it was going to be. I tasted the mustard mixture right before I coated the the chicken, and it was pretty tangy. I thought that would translate more into the final dish. Also, I think that the lack of salt and pepper in the recipe was noticeable. I think a sprinkling of salt/pepper on the chicken would have gone a long way in making this dish better suited for us. We did end up seasoning at the table; and it did improve the flavor quite a bit.

This wasn't a bad recipe by any means,but I think I just expected a little more zip or something. The husband said that it was good, but it would probably not be a recipe that he requested. Overall, it was something different to do with coated/breaded/baked chicken parts, so that is a check in the positive column. I might make this again, but I would probably need to play with the ingredients quantities to jazz it up (assuming that I am not using wings and following the original recipe again).

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