Remember when I said I couldn’t eat chicken legs or thighs? Well, I think I may have just changed my mind about chicken legs. I know, right?? I never thought it a million years I would ever go back to eating chicken legs. I have tried multiple times over the years. Kiddo loves them, hubs enjoys them although he prefers thighs and our wallets like them more compared to chicken breasts. When I did Weight Watchers in the early 2000s I learned that I got more bang for my points be eating chicken breast over legs and thighs. I am not sure when it happened but I had developed this weird texture thing and really couldn’t eat legs and thighs the way I did when I was a kid so eating chicken breast was second nature to me.
Hubs and I have experimented with multiple recipes and cooking methods. About the best I can do are his thighs when they are cooked on the grill. No worries about textures like extra fatty skin, grizzle or veins. Yuck. Before meeting hubs I had no problem with buying a 3lb bag of chicken for $7. Now that same bag teeters back and forth between $7.99 and $9.99. And those chicken breast just don’t get us as far if all 3 of us are enjoying them in a meal. So, I had no choice but to begin my journey with legs and thighs. They would get the dark meat and I would make one chicken breast for myself. And, while that worked out fine, when the bags of chicken went up to $10 a few weeks ago I nearly had a heart attack. It’s seriously just another reason why I want to eat more vegetarian meals again. But, that’s a story for another day.
As I was trying to figure out how I was going to find a replacement for my beloved chicken breast, I really started to question why I have such a hang-up with legs and thighs. Was it the actual meat? No. Skin? Well sometimes. When I am eating I pull the skin off anyway. Who needs all that extra calories when you are trying to lose weight?? I hate pan frying. I hate the mess and the overly greasy taste in my mouth. But faux fry baking in the oven, well the legs and thighs just never get to a point where I can eat them. I hate biting into one and that fatty deposit gets in my mouth and (to me) its worse than an oyster (which I love.) Then, I try a leg, only to bite down and pull the leg away to chew and there is a vein looking up at me. GROOOOOOSSS. Sorry if I am grossing you guys out, but I just can’t get past this.
As I am rummaging around the frozen chicken bin I happen to glance at the chicken wings. Ok. Now those I can eat. I don’t mind buying wings whole and chopping them up to make flats and drummies for buffalo wings. So, if I can eat that part of the chicken, what is my problem??
And, then it hit me.
When we eat out, they are deep-fried. Not healthy, but its a nice treat once in a while. When we make them at home – and by we I mean Mr. Yum as that is his thing – we twice back them.
So, what if I bought these super-duper cheap chicken legs (I mean even the organic free range cage free hormone free ones are cheaper than chicken breast these days) and we each got 2 along with some great sides and TWICE baked them?? Could I eat them??? Oh goodness, please say that I could So, I bought a few packs of these chicken legs because they were on quick sale for $2. Then I grabbed my normal package of leg and thigh pieces. I took everything home. Froze 2 packages of the legs. Then the leg and thigh pieces I separated the legs from the thighs and packaged them for my freezer.
I had no idea what recipe to test out on these, so I figured I would start with a classic. This is an adaptation of my moms old school chicken fry recipe. I replaced her white flour (or corn flakes) with my brown rice ‘bread’ crumbs. Instead of buttermilk I use skim milk.
These do take some time to cook so this isn’t something to get on the table in less than 30 minutes. But, I promise you if anyone in your house has a problem with chicken texture, this might just save them.
I honestly wasn’t expecting much with this recipe. I had some extra salad and a chicken breast on standby just in case these legs didn’t work out for me. Or, the recipe was a bomb for hubs and kiddo. Because we had 10 chicken legs in the package, I did have to use 2 skillets. I was hoping this recipe wasn’t going to bomb. They have eaten every single chicken recipe I have tried on them, so I wasn’t really worried about them.
Y’all. It brings me so much joy to tell you….
I CAN EAT CHICKEN LEGS AGAIN!!!
But, only if they are cooked exactly like this. Because I made some legs and thigh shortly after this and it was right back to the texture issue for me.
2 legs were quite filling. However, we ALL wanted more. I am THRILLLLLLLLLED by this. As I ate that leg, not knowing what to expect, I had some happy childhood memories come back. And for anyone who knows about my troubled past, you will understand that a happy memory is always welcome.
Kiddo loves chicken legs no matter how I cook them. It’s one of her favorite things I make for her. But, these guys have been begging me for another batch ASAP.
Soon family. Soon. 😉
Cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, I encourage you to spend the money on one. Check your local Salvation Army and Goodwill. I see them there all the time. You can wash them good and re-season them. It’s not hard at all and totally worth the effort.
Cooking this chicken in the cast iron really helped to cook the underside of the chicken. I realized when we faux fry in the oven you tend to not flip because your batter might fall off. So, your chicken sits in the oil and juice and that underside doesn’t cook as well. I think that might contribute to my texture problem. So, with this recipe I tried the cast iron and I even moved things around, which is how I discovered the ‘twice baked’ method for these legs.
Alright then. Happy leg eating.
Twice Baked Chicken Legs
- 10 chicken legs
- 1/2 cup brown rice 'bread' crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In small bowl combine the brown rice crumbs, salt, pepper, onion powder and oregano.
- In another dish add the egg and milk. Whisk together.
- Doing one leg at a time, place the egg in the egg mixture and cover.
- Hold the leg above the dish for a moment and let the excess drip off.
- Place the egg in the dry mixture. Take care to cover the entire leg.
- Give a slight shake so the excess falls off.
- Place leg in cast iron skillet.
- Continue this process until all legs are done.
- Discard any unused mixture.
- Melt your 2 tbsp of butter and slowly drizzle a little bit over each piece of chicken.
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and rearrange in skillet. Your coating should be nice and toasty now and since its not a thick batter you shouldn't lose it when flipping.
- Replace skillet back in oven and cook for another 30 minutes.
Sorry for such a long post. I was just so excited! Do you enjoy chicken legs? What is your favorite way to eat them? If you don’t like legs, do you think you will give them another try?
My hubs loves chicken legs, thighs, wings, he loves all that. He would think he died and went to heaven if I made this for him.
This is a great idea. I wish I could make it, but I don’t think my kids would go for it.
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
I am funny about eating chicken, too. I can’t touch it raw, either. It makes me gag.
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
These would be perfect with twice-baked potatoes, right?! Right?! It’s a really good idea, twice-baked chicken!
This looks REALLY good. I don’t tend to eat chicken on the bone (I’m weird.) I’d try this, though!
Debbie Denny says
I love chicken legs. This is a great way to fix them.
Yes please! These look amazing! You are my absolute favorite blog for recipes this is great!
Yay for chicken legs! These sound and look fantastic so I can see why you are so excited.
Lois Alter Mark says
Yes, I love chicken legs! And these look delicious!
Five stars and a virtual hug for you! This looks AMAZING! Yum, yum, YUM!
I used to eat chicken legs when I was a kid. Like you, I am not a fan of them now either. I much prefer boneless, skinless breasts! For me, I leave too much meat on the bone when I eat them so it’s a bit of a waste.
Nina Say says
That looks delicious! We love chicken in our house.
Virginia @thatbaldchick says
I’m the more bang for your buck chicken breast gal, too. My kids love chicken legs, though!
I make chicken a lot, so I’m always looking for new ways to cook it. This looks absolutely delicious.
Okay, don’t think I am nuts. I can’t eat meat off of a bone. The thought makes me all creeped out. LOL My husband absolutely loves chicken legs though so I am going to have to tell him about this. I bet he would make it this weekend and I would just have to have him pick the meat off for me.
It pretty much creeps me out too and I don’t do it very often. Right now we are in a budget crisis so I had to make due somewhere. Other times when I make thighs I pull mine off the bone and take off the skin.
i don’t eat anymore but that looks really good. The chicken leg was usually my favorite part
My husband and daughter are all about white meat, and that makes me happy because then I get the legs! I am glad you found a recipe that works so you can enjoy the legs again!
Catherine S says
It is great you can eat chicken legs once again. I am not a huge chicken fan, but I do like buffalo wings.
Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly says
I love chicken! I use the breasts to make chicken cordon bleu! Over here the breasts are super expensive though!
Now you’ve made me hungry. Hubby likess thighs and drumsticks. I like the drumsticks, wings and breasts. But we eat mostly drumsticks and wings because as you say saves on the wallet. This recipe is awesome.
Hahah I am good at making people hungry, especially myself 😉
This sounds really delicious. My son LOVES chicken. We will have to try this!
Our Family World says
Twice baked? That sounds so yummy, I’ll have to do this soon!
I love dark meat so legs are my favorite. This looks so yummy, I’ll have to try it!
Ann Bacciaglia says
This looks like a great way to make chicken. I love to make chicken it is my favorite. I will have to try this great recipe.
Shannon Gosney says
This looks and sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing.
I think I’ll use skim milk instead of buttermilk next time. I already made chicken legs for the fam. this week, but the next time we’re having some, I’ll remember this recipe.
Marielle Altenor says
I love all the parts on the chicken! When it comes to the legs I tend to make them in some kind of sauce because I find it is easily dried when cooked. But I love my chicken legs!
Krystal's Kitsch says
I actually prefer chicken legs. I find them to be so flavorful!
I love chicken on the bone. it really has the best flavor. The key is to cooking it just right for the right texture and crunch
Those look really good! Twice baked, huh, that’s something i haven’t tried yet!
happy eating again indeed! I can totally relate
Twice baked? Oh man that looks so good! My mouth is watering.
Cynthia Wheeler says
I am a big fan of fried chicken. Looks good!
Life As A Convert says
I love chicken legs. My children do too. They could finish off a large family pack at one meal.
Tough Cookie Mommy says
My husband would love this recipe because he is a huge chicken leg fan. It always tastes better when it’s baked.
Lisa Rios says
WoW! I love Chicken legs! Looks so yummy and delicious. Will have to try this for sure. Thanks for sharing the wonderful & yummy recipe as well.
Tiffany (A Mom's Take) says
Twice as delicious now too. I’ve got to try this, looks amazing.
fancygrlnancy (Nancy Partin) says
I would love to try this. Thanks for the recipe.
Those look so yummy!! I would eat them right now for sure.
I wouldn’t have thought to try this. But now you have me curious!
This looks delicious. I love chicken!
Chasing Joy says
This recipe sounds very tasty. I’m glad you found a chicken recipe that works. You will be able to save some money on your groceries now.
Amanda Love says
My kids just love chicken and hubby usually fries it while I bake it. I may just give your way a try. I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it.
Brown rice bread crumbs certainly sound interesting. I’m glad you’ve overcome your aversion to chicken legs!
Bonnie @ Our Secondhand House says
I prefer the legs and thighs. This recipe sounds like a winner! I’m glad you can enjoy a little dark meat again. Thanks for linking up at the Home Matters Linky.
OH this looks so easy and delicious too! Would love to try this myself.
I am so anti-bone in meat, seriously. My daughter thought? she loves these type of things, so I will make this for her. I just can’t do bones in meat, haven’t’ ever been able to. I lose so much meat and am nervous about choking on a bone for some reason. I have heard of twice baked potatoes but never chicken, certainly would make me feel comfortable that the chicken is fully cooked 😉
My husband loves chicken legs and I love that these are baked! I will definitely be making this!
Lean Lena says
Thank you for sharing your post with Tasty Tuesday Linkup Party over at LeanLena.com
Friendly reminder to add our badge or a link back as this is one of the linkup rules.
Thanks so much and hope to see you at the party again next week!
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Am I missing something here? You mentioned 20 minutes in the oven and then you mentioned putting them in a pan and then you mentioned 30 minutes back in the oven. I think I’m supposed to put these in my cast-iron pan in the oven but do they go on the stove at some point? Sorry but I don’t see that in your post or your recipe. Thanks
Sorry about that. I redid the recipe. You put them in the skillet and bake for 20 minutes. No touching, no moving around in the pan. Take the pan out of the oven. Rearrange. Then put back in the oven. Some people like to add more seasoning and/or butter when they take them out and rearrange.