Back in June, I was in New Orleans for work for a trade show. It was a long trip (about 9 days), and a LOT of hard work – but we managed to fit in several delicious dinners, which helped ease the pain of the 18 hour work days. One of the meals we enjoyed was at one of Emeril’s restaurants, and I had this delicious maple chili-glazed chicken. As I usually do, I decided that I would recreate it at home – and while my version wasn’t quite the same, it was still incredibly delicious (and easy)!
Maple Chili Glazed Chicken Legs
1lb chicken legs, with skin*
salt and pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 T honey
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t smoked salt
*If you’d prefer, you can use other chicken pieces – you just want them to be bone-in, and skin-on. Keep in mind that larger pieces of chicken will likely require a slightly longer cooking time.
1.) Heat a large pot over medium heat, and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Season your chicken legs with kosher salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Once the pot is hot, add the seasoned chicken pieces to it, skin side down. Allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip once, and allow the second side to brown for another 2-3 minutes.
2.) Preheat your oven to 375°. Whisk together the maple syrup, honey, cayenne pepper, and smoked salt. Remove the chicken legs from the pot, and allow them to drain on paper towel for a few minutes. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and set a baking rack inside. Lay the chicken legs on the rack, and brush them with the maple syrup mixture. Put the baking sheet into the oven.
3.) Allow the chicken legs to bake for about 30 minutes, flipping them and basting them with the glaze 3 or 4 times. If you’d like to crisp the skin a bit further before serving, feel free to put them under the broiler for a minute or two at the very end. Serve immediately.
I served this chicken with some brown rice, and honey soy bok choy (recipe forthcoming later this week). It was a delicious, easy meal for a weeknight – the chicken only required a few minutes of active cooking, and sort of took care of itself otherwise. The glaze is a great mix of sweet and spicy – if you are VERY averse to spicy food, I’d start with 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and work your way up, but I think the 1/2 teaspoon I used lent the perfect amount of heat to the chicken.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner,