Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oven Roasted Chicken Quarters

Oven Roasted Chicken Quarters

Fried chicken is a staple in our home. When nobody has time to cook or even think about what to cook, my mom would always have some chicken quarters marinating in the fridge, ready for frying. And boy, do those fried chicken taste good. Generously dredged in breading before frying, they were crispy and gloriously greasy. But alas, fried chicken is not exactly the healthiest thing in the world, and with a household with burgeoning issues with cholesterol and weight gain, we were looking to make our diet a bit more forgiving. Now, what to do with that chicken marinating back in the fridge...

They will not be fried, that's for sure. For a healthier chicken meal, I decided to roast the calamansi and garlic-marinated chicken in the oven. To up the flavor, I slathered a paste made with some herbs and olive oil on the chicken quarters before roasting it roast-beef style. That simply means I roasted the chicken over high heat in the oven for the first few minutes before letting it cook the rest of the way in 325F heat.

The chicken turned out quite fetching. The skin was paper thin, owing to the fact that the fat has melted and dripped away from it through the wire rack during the cooking process, but it still had a delicate crunch to it which I enjoyed. The meat was juicy and while I took it easy on the sodium, only half a tablespoon of sea salt for a whole kilo of chicken, it was abundantly flavorful. The garlic gave it a robust punch (Imagine Emeril!). It had citrusy notes from the calamansi. And the medley of rosemary, thyme, and black pepper lent a complexity to the dish that made me believe that it does not take that much to make a healthy change after all.

Oven Roasted Chicken Quarters

Ingredients
1 kilo chicken quarters
juice of 10 calamansi
10 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary
olive oil

Instructions
Marinate chicken in calamansi juice, garlic, and salt overnight.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Remove chicken from the marinade. Combine thyme, black pepper, rosemary, and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the paste equally all over the chicken pieces. Place the chicken on a wire rack inside a pan, so that the grease drips away from the chicken. Roast in the 400F oven for 20 minutes. Then lower oven temperature to 325F. Roast for another 30-40 minutes.

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