Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dutch Oven Chicken Leg Quarters

In the last post here I was talking about a day of BBQing & grilling a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It was just a nice day spent out in the yard with a fire going in the fire pit, charcoal going in the smoker and food in the fridge ready for fire.

The day before I spied chicken leg quarters for 99 cents a pound. For me this price is a 'must buy' price. Getting some chicken on the cheap is always cool, as it allows me to grill something up tasty and inexpesive and also cook enough to make sure there are left overs for more meals.

The night prior I had taken the quarters, broke them into pair and marinaded them in differing concoctions. Trying out new combinations of ingredients is fun, and at 99 cents a pound you can really go out on a limb in your choices.

The offset smoker was going with an 8 pound pork butt and the ABTs so I was going to put a pair or two in there, and also fire up the weber kettle for some grill chicken. Like I wrote earlier, the fire pit was also in full bloom. I was spending some of the free time away from the grills to chop some fire wood for the winter. As we were stacking it all nice, the odds and ends were tossed into the pit and there was a really nice blaze going. Lucky we stock marshmallows here. 

As the wood chopping ended I let the fire die down to the coals and when the time came to grill the chicken the temperature in the pit was still about 500 degrees. Nice! An idea strikes and some good eats are on the way.

Raid The Fridge! Yes, there is some left over marinara we had made for pasta earlier in the week. Maybe about 2 cups is there and that is perfect. We had the few ingredients needed for something really good. So, here is a spur of the moment dish that just happened to work out real well.

Chicken Quarters in a Dutch Oven 

2 Chicken Leg Quarters

1 Cup Liquid From A Can Of Ortega Roasted Green Chiles
(reserve chiles for other recipes)

2 TBS Butter
2 Small Yellow Onions / sliced into rings
2 Cups Marinara / had some in the freezer from a large batch
1 10.5 oz Can Rotel Tomatoes & Chiles / drained
A couple of fresh basil leaves

12 inch dutch oven

Drain the Ortega chiles, reserving the liquid. Place the chiles in a non reactive container and save them in the fridge for another use.
In a bowl, mix 1 cup of the chile liquid and 2 TBS Tango Spice Sante Fe Seasoning. Blend this real well. 
Put two chicken leg quarters in a zip lock bag, add Tango chile liquid, seal and place in the fridge for at least four hours and up to 18.
The next day, get your fire pit fully engulfed in flames, adding wood as you see fit. Cook some marshmallows while you are building a great fire. It is ok to have marshmallows before dinner. Of course, if you do not have a fire pit, these directions have now become worthless. Read on anyway since you have gotten this far and the pictures are coming up real soon.
When the fire has died down and there is a very hot bed of coals it is time to get everything ready.
Take the chicken out of the fridge, drain and discard the liquid. Plate the chicken and cover with saran wrap, allow to sit at room temp for 20 minutes or so.
In the meantime, slice up two onions, however thick you like.
In a bowl, mix the marinara sauce and Rotel tomatoes together.
Lower the dutch oven in to the fire pit, let sit on the coals for 1 or 2 minutes to heat up. Take back out and place on a fireproof surface. (duh)
Put the butter into the oven, swirls around the bottom, add the onion to cover the bottom. Place the chicken quarters on the onions, skin side up. Pour the marinara Rotel mixture over the chicken. Put the lid on and lower the oven on to the coals.
Let this cook for 20 minutes, then take off the lid and put a couple of basil leaves on the chicken pieces. Cover with the lid and let cook for 10 more minutes. At the 30 minute point I took the oven out of the pit and the chicken had an internal temperature of 158. Put the cover back on and let sit for another 10 minutes off the coals.

Took the quarters out of the oven and got ready to eat.

Wow, this was some darn tasty chicken. I was very pleased with the entire thing. The cooking method was fun, the onions and sauce were wonderful and the chicken was juicy and amazing. This is the start of many more experiments when we have the fire pit going. Heck, it is an excuse for light more fires, we have piles and piles of wood!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out a simple & fun way to cook some great chicken.
And now, the pics!

This Looks Cool

Fire Pit Ready To Cook

Butter & Onions In The Hot Oven

Add The Chicken Quarters

Add The Sauce, Sip The Guinness

Cookin' Away

20 Minutes & It Has A Wonderful Aroma

Ready To Eat

Very Tasty Indeed!

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