If you’re in post-Thanksgiving beige food overload, it’s nice to eat a meal with a little color. In addition to roasting a whole chicken (and then having meals for a week), roasting whole chicken legs has become another easy add-on to our dinner rotation.
This particular preparation calls for a long marinade in a blend of yogurt, orange juice, paprika, and chili powder. Not only does the marinade make for exceptionally moist chicken, it also creates a crispy, blackened skin that’s full of flavor.
Winter means that it’s time for leafy greens and citrus—two of my favorite things. In addition to the orange used in the marinade, I threw another orange in the oven for the last five minutes of the chicken’s cooking time and served it on the finished plate. As for greens, I used trimmed bok choy, but anything else fresh and in season could also make an appearance.
Yogurt-Marinated Chicken with Sautéed Greens
1 c. yogurt
1 navel orange
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
4 tbsp. olive oil, butter or another fat
2 chicken legs
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 bunch bok choy or other greens
Salt and pepper
1 c. farro, wheatberries, emmer, or similar grain (optional)
1. In a shallow dish, whisk together yogurt, along with the zest and juice of one of the oranges, a 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, the chili powder and paprika.
2. Pat chicken dry and place in dish, coating with the yogurt mixture. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but ideally overnight.
3. When chicken is ready, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove chicken and wipe off excess marinade. Sprinkle with the chopped oregano.
4. Heat a large, oven-safe skillet (cast-iron is great) over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add two tablespoons of the oil. Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken, skin side down. Let the chicken sear for about 5 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and beginning to crisp.
5. Turn the chicken over and place in the oven to finish roasting, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest.
6. While the chicken rests, prepare the greens. We used bok choy with the stems trimmed, but any green will work. You can even do them in the same pan as the chicken, if you like. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add greens and cook until they are just wilted. Salt and pepper to taste and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
7. Serve chicken with greens and a cup of whole grains, if desired.
Adding a cup of emmer (an ancient grain, similar to farro) made an already excellent meal a little more hearty and upped the post-Thanksgiving detox factor of citrus, greens, and grains.