The majority of home cooks turn to one particular cut of meat when preparing chicken: the breast. And that chicken breast is normally bought both boneless and skinless. This is the most expensive type of chicken you can buy, no surprise given the high demand. It is also, in my opinion, the least flavorful chicken cut available. Many people turn to the boneless skinless breast because of an irrational fear of fat, a mind-set many entered into during the low fat craze of the 1990s. Others choose this cut of chicken for the ease of which it can be prepared. I am here to show you that bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters can also be easily prepared and much more delicious than the breast meat. This simple recipe will help you utilize a cheaper yet more flavorful cut of chicken. It does take a little longer, but the time involved is not active cooking time. Your toaster oven does all the work for you.
First, I would like to address the issue of fat. There is a lot evidence now that fat is good for you, especially if it comes from properly raised organic animals. No one will argue that fat from a poorly raised animal loaded with antibiotics is good for you. Yet organic meat is very different; it has more omega 3 fatty acids than it's inhumanely raised counterparts. Organic chicken also lacks the build up of pesticides and antibiotics. So choose your meat wisely if you want the healthiest option.
Now let's talk about ease of preparation. Bone-in, skin-on cuts of meat can be easily prepared. The toaster oven creates an ideal cooking environment for such cuts. The close proximity to the cooking elements beautifully crisps the skin without drying out the meat. Here is what you need for simply, yet perfectly roasted chicken quarters:
2 organic bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters (this cut includes both the thigh and the leg, still attached to each other)
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, or other oil of choice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat your toaster oven to 475 degrees F. Rub each chicken quarter with one teaspoon of oil; this will help crisp the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the chicken on a baking sheet and into the toaster oven. Wait 5 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the toaster oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
That's all you need for delicious roasted chicken. You could, of course, flavor the chicken in a variety of ways before roasting. My favorite is to use fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme paired with lots of fresh garlic. Take 4 medium cloves and mince them. Finely chop one tablespoon of thyme and two teaspoons of rosemary. Mix the garlic and herbs into the olive oil before rubbing it on the chicken. Bake following the above instructions.