Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Chicken Legs Christmas Dinner for One with Traditional Trimmings
Chicken legs - or chicken leg and thigh portions - can essentially be viewed as a smaller, juicier alternative to turkey drumsticks for Christmas dinner. They can be purchased separately in many supermarkets and are fairly quick and easy to cook. Alternatively, why not buy a whole chicken, cut it up in to manageable portions and refrigerate or freeze what you don't immediately require for later use?
These chicken leg portions are from a small chicken so both have been used to make one portion. They were simply roasted in the oven, before being served with potato and parsnip mash, pan roasted baby potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a little bit of redcurrant jelly as an alternative to cranberry sauce.
2 chicken leg portions (leg and thigh, skin on)
5 baby new potatoes
1 medium baking potato
1 medium parsnip
3 Brussels sprouts (or as desired)
Sea salt, black pepper and white pepper
Tsp redcurrant jelly
It is necessary to cook and cool the baby new potatoes before they are pan roasted so this has to be your first step. Wash but don't peel them and add them to a small pot with some sea salt and enough cold water to comfortably cover them. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for thirty minutes. Drain the potatoes well, return them to the empty pot, cover and set aside to cool completely.
Preheat your oven to 400F/200C. Very lightly oil a roasting tray. Season the undersides of the chicken leg portions with sea salt and black pepper. Lay them skin side up on the tray. Season the skin sides well, particularly with salt. This helps the skins to crisp up during cooking. Bake for thirty to forty minutes, depending upon the size of your chicken legs (thirty minutes in this instance).
Peel the larger potato and the parsnip. Chop in to approximately one inch pieces. Add to a pot of cold, salted water and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for twenty-five minutes.
Remove any dead leaves from the Brussels sprouts. They will require to be added to some simmering salted water for ten to twelve minutes.
When the baby potatoes are cool, the skin should easily peel off by hand. Pat the peeled potatoes dry in some kitchen paper and deep fry at a fairly high heat for five or six minutes, until beautifully golden brown and crisp on the outside. Drain on some fresh kitchen paper.
While the baby potatoes are roasting, remove the chicken legs from the oven and pierce the thigh at the thickest part with a metal skewer. Ensure the juices run clear. Cover the tray with foil and set aside to rest while the preparation of the remainder of the ingredients is completed.
Drain the potato and parsnip pieces through a colander and return them to the empty pot. Add about half an ounce of butter and season with some white pepper. Mash with a hand masher.
Lay the chicken legs on a heated serving plate and use an ice cream scoop to plate the mash in an attractive fashion. Drain the sprouts well and add them alongside, followed by the roasted potatoes. Spoon on the redcurrant jelly and serve and enjoy this delicious alternative take on a traditional Christmas dinner with trimmings.