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Whole Chicken Leg Recipes and Cooking Tips

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Whole chicken leg confit and goose fat roasted potatoes is one of the recipes you will find further down this page

Whole chicken leg confit and goose fat roasted potatoes is one of the recipes you will find further down this page

When you think of chicken legs, do you think simply of chicken drumsticks? A great many people probably do, but strictly speaking, the leg of a chicken incorporates both that what is commonly referred to as the drumstick and the thigh. As the meat can be quite different texturally between the thigh and the drumstick, cooking and serving the leg portions whole can add a bit of variety and extra flavours to any chicken meal. The recipes on this page could all be prepared using simply drumsticks or even thighs but if you can source whole chicken leg portions in your local supermarket, you may want to give some of these specific ideas a try.

Whole chicken leg portions

Whole chicken leg portions

Whole Chicken Legs Roasted with Mixed Root Vegetables

Whole chicken legs are roasted on and served with mixed root vegetables

Whole chicken legs are roasted on and served with mixed root vegetables

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

40 min

1 hour 10 min

Makes two portions

Ingredients

  • 12 small new potatoes, whole and unpeeled
  • 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, scraped and roughly chopped
  • 2 whole chicken leg portions
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped chives to garnish
  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C.
  2. The potatoes, onion and carrot should all be added to a deep roasting tray, along with the thyme and rosemary. Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Stir everything around with a wooden spoon to ensure even distribution of the vegetables and seasoning.
  3. Rub the chicken leg skins with olive oil and season with salt. Lay them skin side up on the vegetables. Put the tray in to the oven for forty minutes.
  4. Remove the tray from the oven and pierce the thickest parts of the chicken thighs with a skewer. Ensure the juices run clear, showing that the legs are properly cooked. Cover with tinfoil and leave to rest for ten to fifteen minutes.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to a serving dish. Lay the chicken legs on top and garnish with the chopped chives.

Roasted Whole Chicken Leg on Chive Mash with Peas

Simply roasted chicken leg is served on a bed of chive mashed potatoes and accompanied by garden peas

Simply roasted chicken leg is served on a bed of chive mashed potatoes and accompanied by garden peas

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 40 min

Ready in: 1 hour 10 min

Yields: One serving

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken leg
  • 1 large floury/starchy potato
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp frozen garden peas
  • Butter
  • 1 tsp chopped chives

This is a nice, simple, basic roast chicken recipe, for when you are perhaps short of time or cooking for someone whose tastes are not particularly adventurous.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Lay the chicken leg on a roasting tray and rub it all over with olive oil. Season well with salt. Place it in to the oven for thirty-five to forty minutes.
  3. Peel and very roughly chop the potato. Add it to a pot of cold, salted water and put it on the heat when the chicken leg has been in the oven for about fifteen minutes. Simmer for about twenty-five minutes until soft.
  4. Remove the chicken leg from the oven and check the juices run clear. Cover with foil and leave to rest for ten minutes.
  5. Drain the potatoes and return them to the empty pot. Leave them to steam for a few minutes while you add the peas to a small pot of boiling water for three minutes.
  6. Add some butter to the potatoes, mash and stir through the chives. Lay on a plate, shaped approximately like the whole chicken leg.
  7. Lay the chicken leg on the mash, drain and plate the peas and serve.

Whole Chicken Leg Bhuna with Naan Bread

Whole chicken leg is slowly baked in a rich, bhuna spiced tomato sauce

Whole chicken leg is slowly baked in a rich, bhuna spiced tomato sauce

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 1 hour 30 min

Ready in: 1 hour 45 min

Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 14oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 1/2 pint fresh chicken stock
  • Naan bread to serve
  • 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • Freshly chopped basil leaves to garnish
  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 350F/180C and lay the chicken legs in the base of a large casserole dish with a lid.
  2. Put the mustard and cumin seeds in to a dry frying pan and toast over a high heat for two to three minutes. Grind them with a pestle and mortar and mix with the remaining spices and the salt.
  3. Pour the oil in to a fairly large, non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a moderate heat. Add the onions and sautee for a few minutes until soft and glistening.
  4. Scatter the spices over the onion and stir fry for two or three mintes. This is essential to cook the spices.
  5. Pour the canned tomatoes and chicken stock in to the frying pan, stir well and bring to a simmer.
  6. Pour the bhuna sauce over the chicken wings, put the lid on the dish and cook in the oven for one and a half hours.
  7. Take the casserole from the oven and divide between two deep plates with a slotted spoon. Garnish with the tomato segments and the basil.
  8. Serve with hot naan bread and perhaps a glass of Indian beer...

Poached Chicken Leg Meat on Bruschetta with SImple Salad

The meat of a whole chicken leg is picked off and served on bruschetta with a simple salad

The meat of a whole chicken leg is picked off and served on bruschetta with a simple salad

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 1 hour 30 min

Ready in: 1 hour 50 min

Yields: One portion

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • Half each of red, green and yellow bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 thick slice of farmhouse bread
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 3" piece of cucumber, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Chopped chives to garnish

Soup or Stock Pots

When you are cooking chicken this way or simply making stock, the vegetables most commonly used will be that holy culinary trinity that is onion, carrot and celery. This does not mean that this is the combination we have to use, it is simply a tried and proven recipe. It was actually these three vegetables I intended using in this dish until I discovered a problem - I had unknowingly run out of carrots. Given that I wasn't going back to the supermarket to buy one carrot, I decided to improvise and am so glad I did. I had three half bell peppers in the fridge needing to be used so employed them instead of a carrot to delicious effect.

  1. Lay the chicken legs in the base of a large soup or stock pot.
  2. Add the peppers, onion and celery and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour in enough cold water to come within about an inch of the rim of the pot. Bring to a simmer for forty-five minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and leave for a further forty-five minutes to allow the chicken legs to complete cooking in the residual heat. This also serves to keep the meat deliciously moist.
  5. Remove the chicken legs from the stock to a plate with a large slotted spoon. Be careful, they will still be pretty hot.
  6. Toast the bread until golden on both sides. Rub with the garlic clove, drizzle with oextra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  7. Lay the bruschetta on a serving plate with the tomato, cucumber and mayo arranged alongside.
  8. Peel the chicken meat from the bones and place it on the bruschetta. Scatter with the chopped chives and serve.

After you have eaten, the stock should be strained, cooled completely and either refrigerated or frozen for use another time.

This quick and easy soup recipe is a great way of using fresh chicken stock to prepare a further meal

This quick and easy soup recipe is a great way of using fresh chicken stock to prepare a further meal

Whole Chicken Leg Confit with Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes

Succulent and tender chicken legs beyond belief (confit) are served with potatoes roasted in goose fat and broccoli

Succulent and tender chicken legs beyond belief (confit) are served with potatoes roasted in goose fat and broccoli

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 2 hours, 35 min

Ready in: 2 hours, 50 min

Yields: One portion

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • 1 tbsp (4 separate tsps) goose or duck fat
  • Salt
  • 6 to 8 small new potatoes
  • Small head of broccoli, broken in to florets

Confit (pron: con-fee) is a type of cooking which sees the meat (usually duck or goose legs) slow cooked in the oven at a lower than normal temperature in its own fat. The legs are also likely to be marinated for up to twelve hours prior to being cooked. I decided here to see if I could make a much quicker confit by dispensing with the marinading and using whole chicken legs. As chicken is also a lot leaner than either duck or goose, I knew I would have to add additional fat to the process and chose goose fat. I couldn't have been more delighted with the results.

  1. This is the stage where you normally start preheating your oven. Do not preheat your oven for this recipe - the chicken should go in to the cold oven and slowly be brought up to heat.
  2. You need a deep, ovenproof dish which is just capable of accommodating the two whole chicken legs - side by side - and no more. Don't try to make this in a large roasting tray. The reason is that the fat will spread out too much and not partially cover the legs.
  3. Put a teaspoonful of goose fat where the main body of each chicken leg will lie. Lay on the chicken legs - skin side up - and carefully pierce the skin several times with a skewer. Sit a teaspoon of goose fat on top of each leg. Season very liberally with sea salt.
  4. Sit the dish on a deep roasting tray. This will help to contain any potential spills. Put the dish in to your oven and turn the oven on at 300F/150C. Leave it alone for two hours.
  5. When the chicken is in the oven, put the potatoes whole and unpeeled in a pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about half an hour until the potatoes are just softened. Drain, return to the pot, cover and leave to cool.
  6. After two hours, the chicken will be falling off the bone tender but it is even more delicious if the skin is crisped. Turn your oven temperature up, therefore, to 450F/220C for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the tray from the oven and use a slotted spoon to very carefully lift the chicken legs to a plate. Cover and leave to rest.
  8. The peel should easily rub off the potatoes. When peeled, add them to the goose fat in the dish and return to the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  9. The broccoli florets should be added to simmering, salted water for ten to twelve minutes before being drained through a colnader.
  10. Remove the potatoes from the goose fat with a metal slotted spoon to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain.
  11. Plate your meal and enjoy.

Comments

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on May 31, 2013:

Hi, Efficient Admin. The leg is also my favourite part of the chicken. Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment.

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on May 29, 2013:

The whole leg quarter is my favorite part of the chicken and I really love the way you present your recipes with the beautiful photos and instructions. I look forward to reading more of your hubs. Thanks for sharing, voted up and across.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on January 06, 2013:

Hi, vinayak1000. Glad you found this helpful and good luck with both pursuits. Thanks for visiting.

vinayak1000 from Minneapolis on January 05, 2013:

Great! Now I have found a way to integrate my time on HubPages with my desire (almost necessity) to learn cooking.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 24, 2012:

HI, Movie Master and thank you. The chives in the mash is something I remember my parents doing when I was a child, as they always had chives in the garden during the summer. It works really well and is something that has always stuck with me.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on July 24, 2012:

Your recipes and pictures are an inspiration Gordon, I would never have even thought to add chives to mashed potato!

I could just eat the brushetta right now!

Thank you and voted up.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 23, 2012:

Thanks, randomcreative. The bruschetta recipe makes for a quick and easy lunch.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 23, 2012:

Hi, LaThing and thank you. You're right, the root vegetable one is probably best for cooler if not even cold weather. I hope you get the chance to give it a try.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 22, 2012:

Great recipes as always! I love the bruschetta idea.

LaThing from From a World Within, USA on July 22, 2012:

All these recipes look delicious ..... Specially the one with the root veggies. That would make a great Fall dinner. Love your hubs, and the way you bring out several recipes from one food item!

Thanks, sharing and voting up.......