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Spicy Healthy Baked Chicken Legs

These baked chicken legs are far healthier than other classic chicken leg recipes since they are neither breaded nor submerged in unhealthy oils—in particular, the vegetable oils that most restaurants use.

Chicken, in general, is high in protein, but the fat content can be controlled based on whether or not you consume the skin, making it both a nutritious and versatile food. Chicken is also rich in vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6, phosphorus, and selenium. The phosphorus assists in activating the B vitamins to do their job in the body, while the B6 and selenium are both important for proper function of the immune system.

The dark meat in chicken legs also holds specific benefits. A 2012 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that women who had high cholesterol could significantly reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by increasing their consumption of taurine—a nutrient found in the dark meat of chicken and turkey.

On top of these health and nutrition benefits, these baked chicken legs are easy to make and work well as either an appetizer or a main course.

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Spicy Healthy Baked Chicken Legs

Time: 60 minutes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 pounds chicken legs
  • 1 Tbsp Italian herbs/seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse the chicken legs and pat dry.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the spices and salt together.
  4. Put the chicken legs in a large bowl, add all the spices, and drizzle with oil. Mix around until all the legs are evenly coated with spices and oil.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a baking rack on top of it. Using the baking rack will ensure that the legs get crispy and don’t just sit in their juices and remain soggy.
  6. Arrange the chicken legs on the rack in a single layer.
  7. Bake the chicken legs until the skin is crispy. Typically, this takes 45-50 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite dip, sauce, or condiment. 
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