Roasted chicken legs are cooked with chicory or Belgian endive and shallots in a fab gravy given a lift by the addition of balsamic vinegar.
There is minimal prep work for this recipe aside from getting some nice caramelisation on the ingredients before everything goes into the oven for 35 minutes.
Baked Chicken Legs with Belgian Endive
I love cooking with chicken legs, they are cheap and cheerful and provide the best bang for your buck when it comes to flavour!
They are also really versatile, I use them in recipes as diverse as my North African-influenced zaatar chicken legs, Chinese-influenced char siu chicken legs and Korean-influenced kimchi chicken legs to a classic French coq au vin blanc and Jamaican-influenced brown stew chicken.
Here a chicken leg is roasted with chicory in a balsamic vinegar gravy, It is a delicious and boldly flavoured recipe that I adore.
The chicken leg is roasted until it is crispy on the outside and succulent and juicy on the inside in a wonderful balsamic sauce.
The chicory adds a slightly bitter, earthy flavour that complements the chicken perfectly.
Whilst the balsamic vinegar and honey sauce provides a tangy and sweet sauce that ties all the flavours together.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is chicory and what does it taste like?
Chicory is also known as Belgian endive and it is part of the dandelion family. It is a forced crop which means that it grows in complete darkness.
It has a slightly bitter flavour and is just as good in salads as it is braised or roasted as it is in this recipe.
What should I look for when buying chicory?
Look for a nice tightly wrapped rugby ball shape, the tips should be a pale green or yellow. I tend to find that the greener the tip the more bitter the leaves.
Can I use a different type of chicken?
Yes, you can make this with either chicken thighs or even an on-the-bone crown of a chicken. Just be sure that the chicken reaches 73°C or 165°F before serving.
Can I use onions rather than shallots?
Yes, but they are far less sweet and will not be as soft as the shallots.
Can I increase the serving size of this recipe?
Yes, you are only limited by the size of your oven and roasting tin and the great thing is that you do not need to increase the cooking time.
This simple baked chicken with chicory or Belgian endive recipe makes for a great one-plate light meal.
But there are plenty of options that work really well if you wanted something a little more hearty. My first option would be a bit of bread to mop up that wonderful gravy, some focaccia or ciabatta would be perfect.
If you are feeling particularly greedy then mash makes a great addition too. You could of course go for mashed potato, but I would personally recommend celeriac mash because I think the flavours work better.
It’s also awesome on a base of cheesy polenta!
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Grill aka broiler (optional).
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- 35cm x 25cm (14″x10″) roasting tin.
- 30cm or 12″ nonstick frying pan.
- Stirring spoons and or kitchen tongs.
- Quick read meat thermometer (optional but recommended).
These delicious oven-roasted chicken legs are cooked with chicory in a wonderful sweet and sour balsamic & honey gravy, it's the perfect lighter roast for two people.
- 2 Chicken Legs
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 2 (250g Total) White Chicory
- 3 (100-120g Total) Shallots
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 30g (2 Tbsp) Butter
- 1 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Balsamic Vinegar
- 375ml (1½ Cups) Chicken Stock
- 20g (1 Tbsp) Honey
- Lots of fresh chives to dress the dish.
- Trim the base of the chicory and then cut them in half lengthways.
- Cut the shallots in half lengthways, then trim up the root end, do not trim too much, you want them to still hold together, then peel them.
- Heat a 30cm or 12" nonstick frying pan over a high heat and when it is hot add the olive oil.
- Place the chicory cut side down and sear until nicely coloured, then transfer them cut side up to a 35cm x 25cm (14"x10") roasting tin.
- Add the shallots to the pan, and just like the chicory sear cut side down until nicely coloured and then transfer to the baking tray,
- Season the chicken legs with salt and add again sear them, this time all over until nicely golden, then transfer them to the baking tray,
- Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-high and then add the butter, when it begins to foam add the flour and stir and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mix becomes nicely golden.
- Stir in the chicken stock to form a smooth sauce, then add in the honey and balsamic vinegar, stirring to combine. Have a taste and add salt as required.
- Once you have a nice sauce, pour it over the chicken then transfer the baking tray to the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes at 170°C or 340°F. Check that the chicken has reached 73°C or 165°F with a quick read meat thermometer before serving!
- Baste the chicken with the sauce, then flip the oven over to "grill mode" (as high as it will go) or slip the tray under a broiler on a high heat to crisp up the chicken skin and caramelise the sugars. This will take 3-5 minutes. (This step is optional)
- Serve with lots of snipped chives.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 851Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 366mgSodium: 1273mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 7gSugar: 21gProtein: 71g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.