Simple Comfort on a Fall Evening

My favorite chicken is the dark meat. I love it bone in and skin on most of all, either grilled or roasted. Sometimes a leg quarter makes the perfect meal. Especially when you add some comfort sides such as sweet potato and turnip greens.

I’ve discovered Tajin, a Mexican powdered chili and lime seasoning.  It can be used on fruits, vegetables or meats.  I like it on chicken, pork and shrimp. It has a nice flavor and is not too hot to manage.  I’ve been picking out smallish sweet potatoes, scrubbing them and slicing them in half.  I brush the cut side lightly with canola oil because of its neutral flavor and then sprinkle the Tajin powder liberally over it.  Then, it goes face down on a foil lined sheet pan and into a 375° oven for about 45 minutes until the potato is fork tender.

While the potato is roasting, I cut as much fat off the leg quarter as I can without removing too much skin.  The, I brush it lightly with canola oil and put it on a rack on another lined sheet pan and pop it in the oven beside the potation and let it roast and brown while the potato finishes. It is usually done in 20 – 25 minutes.

While they roast, I wash my greens. You can use you favorite slightly bitter green. I like either turnip or collard. I bring water to a simmer in a pot that will hold the raw greens.  I make thin slices of two cloves of garlic and toss them with the greens and put it all in a colander and into the pot to simmer and cook down.

I check the chicken with a meat thermometer as it begins to get brown and when it is about 165° and the juices run clear where I poked the thermometer, I take it out of the oven, tent it with foil to rest while I plate the potatoes and greens. I like a splash of red wine vinegar and salt on my greens or, sometimes, a couple of hits of hot sauce.  That hint of acid makes the greens flavor extra good.

Remember to season with salt and pepper at the end of cooking. This meal is so simple you don’t need a precise recipe.  Just do it and dig in!

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Roasted chicken leg quarter with greens and garlic chips and chile-lime seasoned sweet potato – comfort food with a little kick and a lot of flavor.

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