Chicken legs with red peppers, spring onions, and chickpeas

To my family’s dismay, I rarely make anything other than thighs and drumsticks when I cook chicken. Everyone clamours for breast, but legs are far superior, in many respects — more tender, tastier, reheat-able, up-scalable.

As I am often the one to cook during the week, I decide (!), and one of my favourite weeknight meals is chicken legs. It’s infinitely adaptable, I rarely prepare it in exactly the same way twice (there are already a couple of recipes on these pages here and here); I make it nearly once a week. In the end, they relent — it tastes really good.

This version comes a bit late, seasonally, but perhaps one can occasionally make an exception. In October, when I bought peppers in excess in an attempt to keep squashes and potatoes at arms’ length for a little while longer, I made this dish quite often. It started loosely from the idea of ‘poulet Basquaise‘ — a regional dish from the Basque region broadly defined as chicken with peppers, tomatoes, and ham, which was well integrated in the French canon when I was growing up. My idea began there but quickly veered off-topic, geographically speaking.

As for the chickpeas, I’ve not yet assimilated the reflex of advance soaking and cooking, so I’m sticking to the tinned variety for now. Like everything, it is just a matter of habit. One day.

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Note: The chickpeas are missing in the picture because I added them the next day

Chicken legs with red peppers, spring onions, and chickpeas
Enough for 6, hopefully with leftovers

6 chicken thighs
6 chicken legs
2 large onions
6 garlic cloves
Mildly flavored oil — I usually use sunflower oil or mild olive oil
2 bunches spring onions
Light soya sauce
Tamari soya sauce
Rice wine vinegar
1x400g tin (can) of chickpeas

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).

Take the chicken legs out of the refrigerator.

Peel and slice the onions; smash and peel the garlic cloves.

Drizzle the bottom of a roasting dish with oil. Place the sliced onions and garlic evenly in the dish. Slide into the oven for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim at either end and remove one outer layer of the spring onions. Wash under cold water to remove any grit. Slice crosswise into halves or thirds.

Wash the peppers, cut them in half and remove the seeds, then slice each half lengthwise into strips and each strip in half. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.

Take the dish out of the oven and arrange the chicken legs over the onions and garlic, then add the peppers and spring onions. **Place them in the spaces between the pieces of chicken because if the vegetables are placed on top, the chicken skin won’t brown.** Season the whole dish generously and evenly with light soy sauce, tamari, and rice wine vinegar.

Return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, then add the chickpeas. Continue roasting in the oven for another half hour or so , until the meat is nicely browned and the vegetables cooked through.

I like to serve this with rice. It will taste just as nice, if not better, reheated the next day.

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