While visiting the mountains recently, my family and I stayed in a cute and cozy cabin. However what it boasted in charm, it lacked in the kitchen so I had to think of simple ways to feed a large group of people. While strolling down the aisles at the local grocery store, I spotted a bottle of zesty Italian dressing and it came to me. I will make my Baked Italian Chicken. It is so simple and effortless. It is the perfect dish to prepare for a lazy day in the mountains. One can sit and relax while the oven does the work. I dedicate this recipe to myself…because sometimes I don’t feel like cooking for everyone but I still do because I love them.
Easy Baked Italian Chicken
1 package of Leg Quarters (about 5 pieces)
1 large bottle of Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
Garlic Salt (season to taste – meaning put as much as you would like)
Ground Pepper (season to taste)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, separate leg quarters in half by cutting at the leg and thigh joint. Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Pour the zesty Italian dressing over the chicken and mix thoroughly so that all the pieces are coated with the dressing. Place in large baking dish. When ready, place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove chicken and season tops with garlic salt and ground pepper. Place back in oven for another 20 minutes. When time is up, check one of the thighs or legs near the bone to see if cooked thoroughly. If it needs more time to cook, do it at a lower temperature of 350 degrees and in 5 minute intervals. Keep checking until cooked all the way (meaning no pink/raw meat please…very dangerous when it comes to chicken). Tada! All done! Now serve with some sides and you are set to go! It is so good that you will definitely have more than one piece.
Ideas for sides:
Baked Potato (or should I say Microwave Potato – again, easy and all you have to do is press the “potato” button on your microwave)
Corn on the Cob (or again should I say Microwave Cob – keep in husk and microwave for 2 minutes per ear)
Note: Leg quarters is the economical way to feed a lot of people but not everyone likes this part of the chicken so please feel free to use any section of your liking. All my dinner dialogues are meant to inspire so make them your own as you will. Just remember if you are cooking wings, it will probably cook faster and if you are cooking breasts it may take longer.
Wine Suggestion: We ate ours with a Merlot…and a Cabernet Sauvignon…and it went together quite well.