Lazy Girl Baked Chicken Legs

I cooked some chicken. This is kind of a big deal for me.

Chicken, in raw form, had always made me squeamish. In fact, it played a large part in my decision to become a vegetarian for 3 years. I figured it wasn’t right to keep eating something that I was uncomfortable handling in my own kitchen.

Over the course of my re-initiation into omnivoredom, I’ve had more of an appetite for beef and various types of pork (hello, prosciutto) but I took my sweet time coming back around to chicken. I never order it off a menu, and only eat small amounts if offered it at someone’s home.

Until one day, while indulging in an episode of Nigella Kitchen, I found myself wanting – craving - chicken. Oh Nigella! You make me want to use scissors to cut bacon, pour golden syrup over everything, and, of all things, eat chicken. What can’t you inspire a home cook to do?

A tip from Nigella that I took to heart was to buy the legs or thighs of a chicken, instead of the breast. These, like the breast, are available without skin if that’s your thing – but have loads more flavor and tend to be cheaper. Win win.

I am most wary of where the chicken is coming from and how it is treated, so free-range organic chicken is the way to go for me.

With all of this in mind, I finally took the plunge and bought chicken for the first time in a long time. To celebrate, I prepped the chicken in a matter of minutes and let the oven do the rest. The result is juicy, flavorful chicken that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or a lazy Sunday night.

Lazy Girl Baked Chicken Legs
Inspired by recipes from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen

- 6-8 skinless chicken legs (bone in)
– 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
– salt and pepper
– 1 medium onion quartered
– 6-8 whole cloves of garlic
– 4 thyme (or lemon thyme) springs and 1 tablespoon thyme leaves for scattering

Pre-heat oven to 200 C/ 400 F.

Place chicken legs in a roasting pan. Pour olive oil over, sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place onion sections and garlic cloves around the chicken and scatter with thyme springs and leaves.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

I suggest serving with a PAB salad.

Tortilla Salad and the Definition of a Slack Tea

Apologies if you’re Australian and reading this. You can probably just skip to the part where I start talking about tortilla chips.

Slack tea is another Aussie phrase that I probably would have gone years, if not a lifetime, without knowing if not for my ongoing cross-cultural communication experiment/loving long-term relationship.

Slack tea sounds funny at first but totally makes sense after you get used to it. Like the very Australian penchant for shortening words – for brevity’s sake or love of the letter “o”, I’m still not sure, but I’ve made room in my vocabulary for such things.

Avo for avocado has proved particularly useful in my life. (NOT to be confused with arvo for afternoon.)

Anyway, the most confusing part of the slack tea concept is that “tea” can refer to the drink (although, we could just call that a cuppa), a snack, or an entire meal. For our purposes, “tea” in conjunction with “slack” is usually referring to dinner.

Sure, I could have just said “easy dinner” but slack tea has a more carefree vibe. A vibe that makes you want to crumble a few tortilla chips on top of whatever you’ve got going on because, why not? Slacking means we can still have fun, dude.

My example of a slack tea today is tortilla salad, named for its last-minute garnish.

It’s made up of various types of leftovers over a bed of crunchy Romain lettuce and shredded red cabbage tossed with my new favorite Dijon vinaigrette.

The point is to use whatever you have, toss it in a bowl and be thoroughly satisfied by it. It should feel like you spent a whole 15 minutes making it instead of 5. Really only spend 5 though.

I used:
– Leftover roast chicken, shredded
– Avo
– Leftover Amazing Roasted Broccoli (recipe coming soon)
Red pepper chilli sauce
– Tortilla chips, crushed

My New Favorite Dijon Vinaigrette
(to toss with the lettuce and cabbage or whatever greens you have)
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
– 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
– 1 clove of minced garlic
– salt & lots of pepper

Put all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it like mad. Add a little water to thin out, if needed.