Food | Caribbean-Inspired Cast Iron Chicken Leg Quarters
Caribbean-Inspired Cast Iron Chicken Leg Quarters
Chicken leg quarters seasoned with Caribbean-inspired spices, browned in a skillet and finished in butter! These basted leg quarters are seasoned with a smoky and fragrant dry rub and can be adjusted to be just a medium simmering heat all the way to a fiery hot. Chicken leg quarters are the perfect solution when your craving an economical dinner option!
When I first started cooking for myself in adulthood, I would often opt to purchase boneless meats with the assumption, "this will be easier". As I've grown to be more comfortable in the kitchen and tighter in my budget, I realized just how much I'd paid for this convenience. Bone-in meats are much more economical in comparison to their boneless. If you know me, you know I'm really about saving my coins!
How economical you might ask?
I posted my excitement on my Instastories while cooking. Leg Quarters are the drumstick and thigh still attached. So essentially, if I broke them down, I purchased 6 pieces of chicken for $2.47. Not even your favorite chicken fast food place can do prices like that. Why have I avoided this section for so long? The idea of convenience is the answer! Removing the skin was super easy with a sharp kitchen knife or in my case, a pair of kitchen shears. Let's just say, if you have a few extra minutes to spare, you can "retain your coins" if you opt to grab the bone-in chicken!
I knew exactly what flavor profile I wanted to create as soon as that package hit my cart. Now, this is my humble take on a West Indian classic. Humble! Don't come for me Y'all! This was influenced by an episode of Triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives #FoodNetwork) that featured Ena's Caribbean Kitchen! I have always been a fan of the immense flavor provided by the Caribbean or West Indian foods.
Ingredients3 lbs+ Chicken pieces (your choice)
4 tablespoons butter, diced into small pieces
Dry Spice Rub2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon adobo chile powder
• Start by trimming away skin and excess fat from chicken pieces. In a large bowl, add salted water and slices of lime and lime juice. Place chicken into water/lime mixture, cover with plastic wrap and allow to brine for at least 2 hours.
• Once ready to prepare the chicken, remove chicken and discard brine. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
Note: I prefer to use gloves during this step.
• In a small bowl or empty spice container, combine all dried spices and thoroughly mix. Massage this "jerk" inspired rub on to each piece of chicken, taking care to cover every inch.
• Heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter to oil the pan.
• Lay chicken, away from yourself, into the pan. Allow chicken to cook about 5 minutes on each side. Turn the chicken over after each 5-minute interval to ensure even cooking. Add diced butter throughout the pan as needed to ensure even browning. If you're not a clock-watcher like me, invest in a thermometer. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken piece and look for an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees° F. In total, cooking time should range to about 20 minutes.
I love using cast iron because it gives the chicken a nice crust. Although I made this Caribbean-Inspired Chicken on the stove top, it can easily be made in a grill or roasted in an oven. Since there is sugar in the rub, serve these spiced chicken leg quarters with a keto-friendly side dish. We opted to serve it with a baked cheesy California Medley!
You can also make your own cheese sauce or buy some in the store. Here’s a low carb cheese sauce recipe if you’d like to make your own.
Do you love Caribbean-inspired dishes? What are some of your favorites?