Roasted Chicken Legs with Smoked Paprika, Blood Orange, and Honey / by Amy Cantu

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I really can’t get enough of roasted chicken in its very many forms. The skin gets so tantalizingly golden, and meat comes out so juicy! This one is already conveniently in pieces, and using dark meat keeps it moist, even if you happen to forget about it in the oven for a bit. I love the lightly sweet honey glaze matched with the punchy tart orange, spicy jalapeño, and smokey paprika. The blood oranges speak to winter, but the fresh herb garnish bridges the gap to spring. This chicken goes perfectly with the herbaceous farro salad that Cynthia put together!

Notes: Consider your spiciness level when choosing how much jalapeño to add and whether to seed it. For the kids, I used half of a small, seeded jalapeño - the marinade seemed mildly spicy, but once cooked, I could hardly tell it was there. Keeping the seeds will dramatically increase the spiciness.

The recipe calls for blood oranges, which have a more pronounced flavor and adds pretty color for the garnish. Regular oranges work just fine too!

Inspired by Melissa Clark’s recipe in her cookbook, Cook This Now.

Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, preferably blood orange
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, plus additional for garnish
½ - 1 small jalapeño, seeded if desired, and chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (¾ teaspoon table salt)
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon honey
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks, patted dry
Sliced scallions, for serving
Orange wedges, for serving

In a blender, combine the orange juice, oil, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, ginger, salt, orange zest, and paprika and blend until garlic and jalapeño are pureed.

Reserve ¼ cup of marinade and stir in honey to make a glaze. Set aside.

Combine the chicken and remaining marinade in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour (or overnight if you can plan that far ahead).

When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with the chicken. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. Brush glaze over chicken pieces and roast for 10 minutes more or until the chicken skin is golden and the meat juices are no longer pink.

Serve sprinkled with scallions and cilantro, with orange wedges for squeezing over the meat.