Monday, March 2, 2015

Pepper Potato Chicken Leg Quarter Bake

Chicken leg quarters are cheep, cheep, cheep here in Tempe. Fry's Foods has bagged chicken quarters for 69 cents a pound every day, so we eat at least 20 pounds every three to four weeks. They're cheaper than hot dogs, hamburger, and most lunch meats; I get the benefit of all that chicken schmaltz, plus I make huge pots of bone broth every few weeks and keep it in the freezer. Thanks to all the schmaltz, I only buy butter or margarine when I want to make cookies or pastry.

Potatoes were running 99 cents per 10-pound bag this week, and fancy mini sweet peppers were $1.99 per pound, so I decided to make a potato, pepper and chicken bake for this week's make-ahead meals. First, I marinated two pounds of chicken leg quarters in Valentina Hot Sauce Marinade (see below).

Pepper Potato Chicken Leg Quarter Bake

2 pounds marinated chicken leg quarters
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced fancy mixed-color bell peppers
6 to 8 minced garlic cloves
10 small potatoes, cut in 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup Soy Vey sauce
2 TBSP melted curried schmaltz
Large oblong glass baking dish

Marinate the chicken in a covered bowl for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Toss the vegetables, garlic and potatoes into the mixing bowl with the marinating chicken. Add the Soy Vey sauce. Mix everything together well, ensuring that the vegetables and potatoes get an even coating of marinade. Cover and place back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes to ensure even marinating.

Pour the entire mixture -- including all the marinade -- into a large, oblong glass baking dish. Arrange the chicken quarters on top of the potatoes and vegetables. Drizzle the chicken leg quarters with melted curried schmaltz. Cover the baking dish with foil and pinch along the edges to ensure a good seal.

Bake at 400 degrees F for one hour. Uncover the chicken and bake for a second hour. Serve hot, along with Gypsy Wilburn's Cola Quick Bread. Serves 4 to 8 people.

Valentina Sauce Marinade

1/4 cup Valentina hot sauce
1 TBSP fresh-ground black pepper
1 TBSP sea salt (or 1 tsp regular granulated table salt)
2 TBSP dried cilantro

Curried Cajun Seasoning Blend

Mix Pat Green's House Blend (from BSI Cooks):
1 cup sea salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder


1/2 cup onion powder
2 TBSP cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes

Mix all ingredients together, divide into empty spice jars or salt shakers of your choice. Makes 2 cups of Cajun seasoning mix.


1/4 cup of ground turmeric
2 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP coriander

and the result is 2 1/2 cups of delicious curry powder that goes very well with chicken.

Curried Schmaltz

Shake curry mixture over chicken until well-seasoned. Rub mixture all over chicken to ensure even distribution. Lay chicken quarters in a large glass oblong baking dish, spaced finger-width apart from each other and from the sides of the dish. Bake or broil chicken in medium-high oven (400 degrees F) until most of the fat renders. Pour off the chicken fat into a metal bowl and place in the freezer. Pop the frozen fat from the bowl and store schmaltz rounds in individual freezer bags. To use frozen schmaltz, place a round in your saute pan on low to medium heat until melted. 

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