Do you know what the most expensive cut of chicken is? If you guessed boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you're right. But shockingly, the second most expensive is chicken wings. Now I know why I never go to Hooters. Well that, and the Starving Artist is a leg man, so if I'm plan ogling a woman's legs, I'd prefer they not be covered with cheap tan pantyhose. Anyhow, I'm getting off track. I had a hankering for chicken wings this weekend, but the budget wouldn't manage it – and still allow for wine. So I went with whole chicken legs, the cheapest cut of chicken there is. And man, am I glad I did. Not only did this allow me to stretch my budget, but it opened the door to an extra bottle of wine. And I love these delicious Chicken Legs with a Dijon Chardonnay Glaze. Like I said, I'm a leg man.
Ingredients for the Brine
- 1 gallon (16 cups) water, divided
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 6 whole chicken legs (drumstick and thigh intact)
Ingredients for the Chicken
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup neutral cooking oil, such as canola or safflower
- 1/4 cup dry white wine ( I used Chardonnay)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the brine, in a large stock pot, cover the chicken with about 12 cups of cold water. In another saucepan, heat 4 cups of water until almost boiling. Add the salt, sugar, and peppercorns, then stir until completely dissolved. Add the water from the saucepan to the stock pot with the chicken. Cover, and refrigerate the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Next, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse in cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, whisk the Dijon mustard, cooking oil, and wine until well combined.
- Finally, place the chicken legs skin-side up on large cast iron grill pan or a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the tops with the mustard sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cook in a 350 degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees with an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat, about 45 to 50 minutes. If you'd like some sexy grill marks on your chicken, flip the legs on your grill pan for the last 5 minutes.