This creamy mustard sauce is just so versatile: it's delicious on these oven baked chicken legs, but is equally as good on pork chops, steak, white fish and more. We are going to learn how to make some delicious oven baked chicken and the most simple mustard sauce. We'll then smother the chicken in the sauce for a delightfully easy weeknight meal. Let's take a look at how to do it.
These oven baked chicken legs are gluten free, low carb and ridiculously delicious.
EAT THESE OVEN BAKED CHICKEN LEGS TONIGHT.
I'm serious. Next time you're at the grocery store, pick up some legs or leg quarters and make this recipe. Here's how simple it is: we're going to saute the chicken to start, bake it off and make a cream sauce with just cream, mustard and shallots. All these flavors, along with the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan, combine together for an incredible eating experience.
There are a couple reasons we want to bake off the chicken legs or quarters in the oven:
- Chicken legs and thighs take forever to cook, particularly on the stove top. Yes, it can be done- but why take the time?
- We are going to cover the chicken while it is cooking to capture the juice. We don't want that cooking off and the easiest way to do this is in the oven.
- We're going to get even heat in the oven. Even if we were to cook in cast iron on the stove, there are hot spots in the pan. In the oven, all the pieces should cook at the same speed with a consistent outcome every time.
HOW TO BAKE CHICKEN LEGS IN THE OVEN
Ok. So to get really good flavor for a baked chicken recipe we need to do a little pre-work before the baking part. Let's take a look:
- Seasoning: We are only going to use salt and pepper to season the chicken. Sure chicken loves garlic and onions, but we don't need to add in those aromatics to this recipe. We're going to keep things simple, starting with the seasoning, to allow the chicken flavor to shine.
- Saute: We are going to heat up some fat in a pan and saute the chicken. This will crisp the skin, adding in more flavor as well as start to build a fond on the bottom of the pot. A fond is simply the browned bits at the bottom of the pot. These browned bits are big on flavor!
- Bake: Let's cover the pot and put it in the oven where the magic happens. Within 20 minutes, we will have deliciously tender oven baked chicken that is ready to eat.
Making chicken in the oven is simple. Could you skip the Saute step? Sure, but the chicken will not be nearly as flavorful.
CREAMY MUSTARD SAUCE
I could write about this creamy mustard sauce all day. It is just so simple, but the flavor is so complex and rich. It is truly and addicting sauce. Let's take a quick look at how we are going to make this mustard cream sauce.
The first thing that we need is a good base for the sauce. In this recipe, we are going to use the juice from the cooked chicken as well as the fat in the pan. The cooked chicken juice really rounds the sauce and allows it to marry so well with the chicken legs.
Next, we are going to add in some aromatics with finely chopped shallots. I suggest that you use about ⅓ cup although you can certainly use more. If you don't have shallots on hand, you can use onion in its place. We'll let the shallots cook for a couple minutes until they begin to turn translucent.
Last, we'll add in the cream and mustard. When cream is added to heat and liquid, it thickens almost immediately. Please make sure that the heat is low enough to not scorch the cream- that would be a real bummer. The result of these quick and easy steps will be a luscious, creamy sauce. Oh it is so good.
QUICK COOKING TIP: This sauce is going to thicken quickly after it is made. I would not recommend letting the sauce hang around for any length of time after it has been added to the chicken. If you are not sure of the timing of the other elements for dinner, keep the cream sauce separate from the chicken. When everything else is ready, give the sauce a quick stir. If it has thickened too much, add in a tablespoon or two of water and mix it up again. It should quickly thin out to a pourable consistency.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE CREAMY OVEN BAKED CHICKEN LEGS RECIPE
This is truly a comforting chicken dish to make any night of the week. It is easy to make, delicious enough for kids and adults to share and reheats extremely well for leftovers the next day. If you have extra sauce left over, give it a try on some pork or even as a hamburger topping. Heck, I would just eat it with a spoon all on its own.
We love to pair these oven baked chicken legs with my spicy Italian broccoli recipe, my Sauteed Spinach with Bacon & Shallots or even with my Butter Braised Carrots with Thyme. They are all really tasty and easy weeknight meal options for the whole family!