Chicken Legs with Roasted Garlic-Ancho Sauce

Marcia Kiesel has a knack for creating dishes that taste like more than the sum of their parts. Here, she uses only five ingredients, including pleasantly bitter ancho chiles (dried poblanos), to make a luscious sauce that you'd swear has butter in it, even though it doesn't. The secret is the slow-roasted garlic, which becomes wonderfully silky in the blender. The sauce is fabulous with the juicy chicken legs here, but would also be good with anything from grilled corn to lamb chops.

Slideshow: Fast and Easy Chicken Recipes

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 head of garlic
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium ancho chile
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole chicken legs, split into drumsticks and thighs

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut off the top quarter of the garlic and set it on a sheet of foil. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it in the foil and roast for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tender.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cover the ancho with water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning a few times, until the chile is soft, about 10 minutes; drain. Discard the ancho stems and seeds. Coarsely chop the chile and transfer to a blender.

  3. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the skins into the blender. Add the chicken stock and puree. With the machine on, gradually pour in 1/4 cup of olive oil and puree until incorporated. Pour the sauce into the small saucepan, stir in the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Light a grill. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning frequently, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 30 minutes total. Reheat the ancho sauce and serve with the chicken.

Make Ahead

The ancho sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently.

Suggested Pairing

Its extra-smoky edge would be especially tasty with an oak-spiced Chardonnay from Chile.

Contributed By Photo © Fredrika Stjärne Published June 2009

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