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Oct 13, 2006 04:19 PM

What to do with a chicken leg and a breast?

I've got a full chicken leg (thigh and leg) and a boneless skinless chicken breast defrosting in the fridge, but really don't have a clue what to do with them (I was a vegetarian during my formative cooking years, but with your help I may be still learning).

I'm comfortable with lots of culinary steps and techniques, but so far everything I do produces dry yucky chicken breast--pounded, sliced, baked, whatever. Would I ruin everything if I popped them both in a covered casserole and braised? Must they be treated separately since light and dark meat are so different? If so, any ideas?

I'm tempted to throw them both in the stock pot and get it over with, but would love suggestions that put this organic free range meat to better use.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. Great time of year for chicken soup. Here's a simple recipe.

    1.5 to 2 lbs of chicken pieces (seperate the leg from the thigh and cut-up the breast in 2-3 pieces)wash & dry thoroughly.
    2 quarts of hot low sodium chicken broth
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 to 2 quarts of hot water
    2 large carrots chopped
    3-4 celery staulks chopped
    1 head of garlic (do not seperate it. Discard any loose skin and slice the bottom end off of the head removing the tips.)
    1 medium onion halved
    1 tablespoon of dry oregano
    1 teaspoon of dry thyme
    1 1/2 to 2 corn on the cob cut in thirds (common in Mexican style chicken soup. Adds tons of flavor.)
    1 medium parsip peeled and chopped
    1/2 can of rinsed garbanzo beans
    1/2 cabbage cut in quarter wedges
    add salt towards the end if necessary

    Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to large 8qt. or larger stock pot and heat on medium high until slightly smoking.
    Add chicken to pot and sear until golden on all sides (5-10 minutes or until 1/2 way cooked in the middle but golden on the outside) while sprinkling the herbs all over.
    Add hot chicken broth and remaining ingredients except for water.
    Add hot water until 4/5 full and bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 2 hours or more until nicely flavored.
    Add more hot water and salt if necessary towards the end.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amoncada

      Wow, thanks! This is really tasty. Way better than the best I've ever had out (and I left out most of the oil (ok, I'm pudgier than I want to be) as well as the parsnip and garbanzos because I didn't have them on hand). I love the crunch and the burst of summer sweet flavor the corn adds. (I cut the corn off the cob before serving.)

      I'm freezing most of this and, not that I'm wishing any friends ill, I'll be ready if anyone needs a big bowl of chicken soup. (If, that is, they get sick before I snarf it all up.)

      Thanks again, this is a winner!

    2. If you want to braise them together, Molly Stevens recommends when braising different chicken parts to take the breast out after 20 minutes, and then keep braising the dark meat. Considering that it's boneless and skinless, you may have to take it out even earlier.

      I've never tried this, but I've heard poaching is good for chicken breast. But then you'd still have a leg to deal with.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AppleSister

        just curious, wouldn't it make more sense to add the breast once the leg has braised for a while? so that they're both finished together instead?

      2. I'm making chicken pot pie tonight with buscuit topping (any simple recipe will do, including Alton Brown's or Joy of Cooking's). Then, I do a one-pot thing with onions, garlic and veg. in olive oil, then chicken pieces, then flour, then stock. Simmer until almost cooked through, remove chicken from bone, add back to pot and then add a little cream. Put in an oven-safe dish, cover with buscuits, bake and you're done!

        I also saw a recipe today using frozen veg. and canned cream of chicken soup -- it's an idea, if it interests you....

        1. I recently had a really delicious chicken dish at a friend's house-- I can't find the exact recipe but Epicurious has lots of good variations on it. Basically, it chicken parts (I might cut the breast in half to make eating easier) pan seared then braised in the oven with olives. Yum. The chicken flavor really came through.

          1. I always make thighs (for my daughter and me) and breasts (for my husband). Any recipe can be done with both. Last night I made Chicken with Leeks. Take the chicken on the bone (remove the skin) season as you like it, shred some of the white part of the leeks on top. Make a packet with heavy foil. Bake 1 hour at 375. Easy, juicy, enjoy!