Roast Chicken Leg Salad


I have a confession. I have not been impressed with chicken in the U.S. It’s too big, for one thing. This alone scares me. And what I’ve eaten so far is completely tasteless. I’m not talking about industrial chickens, mind you, but the big fat three and four pounders at the fancy grocery stores labelled organic and whatnot. (What do they feed these chickens? They must be so fat they’re in stretch pants long sweaters in the summer!)

On top of their supersize and lack of taste, I think they’re far too expensive. Far more than what I paid in Paris for a chicken at the market that was so fresh I’d wait for the head and feet to be cut off.

But I’ve got some good news, as you might guess by the above photo. I found organic chicken legs – six of them! — for $2.50 at Trader Joe’s the other week, and figured it would be the same old disappointment. Mais non! I cooked them up for my Fort Worth Star-Telegram Cowgirl Chef column on how to make Texas State Fair food at home (you’ll find the recipe there). And. Could. Not. Stop. Eating. Them.

The meat was juicy and flavorful. The skin, crispy and crackly, as it should be. And these particular chicken legs were so very healthy, the funky membrane-y parts just came right off. You know what I’m talking about. Bleh.

So I made these chicken legs again a week later and this time, I decided to throw some potatoes into the pan so I could imitate that rotisserie chicken from my favorite boucherie on rue des Belles Feuilles, which always came with potatoes roasted in the chicken fat. Even if you’ve never strolled down rue des Belles Feuilles, or any tiny street in Paris, you will love this chicken.

I just made E-Z French Vinaigrette, made a salad out of it, and called it dinner. Then I nibbled on the rest throughout the week.

Team Chicken, not quite yet, but I’m getting there.