I hit the internet. Everyone does the same old things, mostly with some sort of breading. Yawn. And then I found something that intrigued me. Over at Steamy Kitchen.com, Jaden Hair shared a recipe for Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings by Chef Jesse Thomas of PizzAmore restaurant in Mount Dora. The recipe had a few things going for it. No breading, lots of herbs and seasoning, and most interestingly of all, the Parmesan goes on after the chicken bakes!
Naturally, I altered the recipe a bit. For starters, I had chicken legs, not wings. While I'm sure my character Natasha has fresh basil growing in a pot on her windowsill, I do not, and to be honest, I wasn't really interested in the sauce. Nevertheless, I forged ahead and it turned out surprisingly well. It's super easy and not high maintenance (meaning you stick it in the oven and forget about it until the timer goes off). It was absolutely delicious. Flavorful and a bit crunchy, I can see it being a good alternative to fried chicken. Very satisfying. I imagine happy little kids running around with one of these chicken legs in hand!
Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Legs(recipe by Chef Jesse Thomas and shared via Jaden Hair at Steamy Kitchen.com)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt (1/2 teaspoon table salt)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 1/2 pounds (ten legs) chicken legs
3 tablespoons melted butter (or olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or use seasoned salt and omit Northwood's below)
1/4 teaspoon Northwoods spice from Penzey's
Preheat oven to 425. Place the chicken legs on a baking sheet where the juices can run off. (If using a broiler pan, you might want to grease it with olive oil.)
Mix the oregano, rosemary, salt, and cumin. Sprinkle on chicken legs. Bake for 45 minutes.
Just before you take the legs out of the oven, mix the garlic powder, salt, melted butter, and Parmesan. Place the baked chicken legs in the mixture and toss. Serve and enjoy!