Roasted Chicken Legs with Herb & Breadcrumb Stuffing by Gary Mehigan

Recipe from Australian Good Food Magazine August 2010 
SERVES 4 PREP 30mins COOK 50mins

Oh Gary you’ve done it again. I knew as soon as I saw the recipe in this month’s issue of Australian Good Food Magazine that I just HAD to cook it. I just had to! I can almost imagine the amazing tenderness of the chicken leg, and the flavors of the stuffing, and the wonderful roast parsnip combined altogether on my fork, and into my eager mouth. Mmmm mmmm… I just found myself a winner! Quite possibly the best recipe EVER for me… and that’s a pretty BIG statement. Perhaps I’m little bit biased – I’ve tried a few other Gary recipes in the past and they’ve always worked really well and his instructions have always been easy to follow, and I have never failed his recipes.
Maybe that’s just it. Today was the first time I’ve ever de-boned a chicken and I did NOT fail. I don’t normally do a good job in wrapping/rolling meat either, and I did NOT fail. I don’t usually make stuffing, and today I did, and I did NOT fail… lol. In fact, I quite easily excelled! And therefore I think this is the best recipe for me to share with all of you who are mostly amateur cooks like me, but occasionally love exploring the slightly more classy and gourmet style of cooking to please yourself and to please others. Enjoy 🙂
4 chicken marylands, skin on
12-16 slices of flat peppered pancetta (I didn’t have this, so I’ve used prosciutto instead)
4 small parsnips, halved lengthways
1 1/2 onions, quartered
A few thyme sprigs
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
150g nameko or enoki mushroom (I didn’t have this also, so used normal cup mushrooms)
Herb & Breadcrumb Stuffing
30g butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
1/4 cup tarragon, plus extra to serve
50g fresh breadcrumbs
1 To make the stuffing, melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic, season and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins, until onion is soft and translucent. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
2 Process onion mixture, parsley, tarragon and breadcrumbs in a food processor until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3 Remove thigh bones from marylands, keeping skin intact, by using point of a sharp knife, following bone, cutting down either side. Loosen bone at joint and pull bone back, teasing meat away with a knife.

4 Spoon some stuffing into pocket created by removing thigh bone of one chicken leg and press in firmly.
5 Lay 3-4 slices of pancetta (or prosciutto) on a board, slightly overlapping. Wrap chicken leg in prosciutto, enclosing stuffing. Repeat with remaining stuffing, chicken and prosciutto. Wrap each chicken leg in a square foil to secure stuffing. Place in fridge for 30 mins to cool and firm up slightly.
6 Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan. Place chicken, still wrapped in foil, in a roasting pan and roast for 30 mins, until firm and almost cooked. Remove foil and return to oven for another 15 mins, until cooked and golden.

7 Meanwhile, line base of a heavy-based ovenproof frying pan with a sheet of foil and a sheet of baking paper, pressing down lightly. Add parsnip, onion and thyme. Season and drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat. Heat on medium and cook for 5 mins, turning, until lightly browned. Place pan in oven with chicken and roast for 20-25 mins, until cooked and golden. Add mushrooms and cook for another 2 mins, until softened.

8 Serve chicken with parsnip, onion and mushrooms and scatter with extra herbs.
In each serve 2796 kilojoules, 46g protein, 44g total fat (15g sat fat), 20g carbohydrate (8g sugar), 7g fibre, 660mg sodium.
Tip: Buy small parsnip if you can get your hands on them – they tend to be sweeter and not as woody in the centre.

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