This is just about one of the easiest weeknight, restaurant quality meal you could make. All it takes is a killer dressing, vibrant herbs and a fool proof method to cooking your protein. Roast chicken legs or chicken breast is one of my favorite things to make because it takes next to no effort to do really really well. This Crispy Herb Maple Chicken Breast is a great example of how to make an impressive chicken dish without requiring a lot of skill, equipment or added oils.
What makes this chicken a star is how the skin crisps up just from it’s own fat. Pair it with the sweet, spicy and vibrant Herb & Maple Dressing for the perfect tangy and flavorful punch. Whether served with rice, salad or your choice of veggies, the dressing pairs with whatever you choose to have on your plate.
The most complicated part of this recipe is the dressing. What you want to plan most for with this recipe is time to prepare the garlic and maple. When you start your dressing, first add red pepper flakes and mustard seeds in the maple syrup. Stir a few times to combine and allow to infuse.
Crush garlic with the flat side of your knife. Add salt and do a rough chop. Wait a few minutes while you prep some other ingredients. After about a minute or two, go back and add more salt and begin mincing the garlic very finely. Let the chopped garlic sit out while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Only add the garlic to the dressing at the very end.
Add all the other ingredients in the dressing (except for the garlic) and mic vigorously so it takes on a creamy like texture. Add on top of salad, chicken, or rice.
This recipe works perfectly year round but I especially love to make it during the late parts of winter, during maple tapping season. This recipe takes on new flavors with each batch of maple syrup that we use from the maple trees growing in our back yard. If you want a slightly different flavor, you can swap the herbs and sweetener for your favorites. Honey, cilantro, and other types of citrus would be delicious versions of this Crispy Herb Maple Chicken. If you try it and swap out some ingredients for you favorites, make sure to share it with me on social media!
- 2 chicken legs
- salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse chicken legs and pat dry.
Cover heavily in salt and pepper. Keep the skin and bone attached.
Place in oven on baking sheet for 30-40 minutes. Add vegetables like green beans about 15 minutes before they are done.
- 2 Tbsp maple
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (I highly recommend a horseradish mustard)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 1 Tbsp tarragon & other herbs I like thai basil & tarragon together
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp chili powder or paprika
- salt & pepper to taste
Mix maple syrup with mustard seeds and crushed red pepper flakes, stir and let it sit to infuse.
Very finely mince shallot, garlic and herbs together until it is almst like a paste. Tip: add salt when you have chopped everything down to small pieces and again a 1-3 more times as you are chopping to help bring out the oils, nutrients and soften the flavor.
Let it sit in the open air for about 30 minutes as you prepare the rest of the dressing and chicken. Add this mix in as the last step to the dressing.
Mix lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and spices into the maple syrup until it becomes an emulsified mixture. Let sit while you prepare the chicken.
When you are almost ready to serve the chicken, mix in the garlic/shallot/herb mixture to the sauce and stir somewhat virgorously until it is all mixed together. Dress your chicken and vegetables with sauce.