April 27, 2003 – Think V.I. Carnival and many favorite foods come to mind. There's stewed whelks and rice, conch in butter sauce, saltfish fritters, kallaloo, souse, mutton and more. But think specifically about parade time, and one food rings in the mind high above the others: crisly, seasoned chicken legs.
Fried chicken legs have perhaps fueled more parading troupe members than any other food. Why? They are quick to eat, easy to hold, fast to prepare by the panful and definitely delicious.
For those who want a more healthful version of chicken legs for Carnival parading or parade watching (or for any other occasion), consider baking instead of frying, and seasoning them with a mix of fresh herbs and spices minus the salt. Here's just the recipe with a few variations to suit all tastes:
Seasoned Chicken Legs for Carnival
8 chicken legs, cleaned and washed
The night before, clean chicken legs with lemon juice or vinegar. Rinse and pat dry, season with the mix of your choice and let sit in refrigerator overnight. Lay chicken on a baking sheet coated with nonstick coating spray. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes, or until juices run clear when tested with a fork.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 265 calories, 15 gms fat (54 percent fat calories), 105 mg cholesterol, 99 mg sodium.
Savory Poultry Seasoning
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, or 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Grind ingredients together using a spice grinder, mini-food processor or mortar and pestle. Makes about 1/3 cup.
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried lemon peel
Crush or pound all ingredients and mix together in a small mixing bowl. Makes ½ cup.
Hot and Spicy Seasoning
2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons black pepper
4 tablespoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
Stir together all ingredients, mixing well. Makes about ½ cup.
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