Roast chicken legs in a tomato-basil broth is the perfect way to end a warm late summer day. We used cherry tomatoes and African basil, but Italian basil will work just fine for this simple dinner dish.
Have you ever seen African blue basil at your farmer’s market? Don’t be intimidated; it’s a delicious basil variety! African blue basil is a hybrid variety–a cross between camphor and dark opal basil. The leaves are crisp and chewy and the flavor is, in my opinion, a bit more complex than the Genovese basil. Try African basil anywhere you might use Genovese basil. It works fabulously in pesto and brings in woodsy, earthy notes but it will still give you a nice herby finish to any dish.
It pairs perfectly with the sweet acidity of cherry tomatoes in this tomato-basil broth.
How to make Roast Chicken Legs in Tomato-Basil Broth:
This recipe is a breeze. First, prepare the chicken by pan-frying it, skin-side down. Don’t get rid of all the chicken fat; it’s the base of your broth! Drain off all but one tablespoon of the fat and then create your broth.
From there, simply add the chicken legs to the broth and then finish them in the oven. Right before serving, stir the basil leaves into the broth and allow them to cook briefly. Serve this deliciously rich broth with crusty bread for the ultimate comfort meal!
Looking for more chicken recipes? Check my archives!
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Roast Chicken Legs in Tomato-Basil Broth
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 red Fresno chili pepper or 1 jalapeño, trimmed and thinly sliced into rounds
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- Fresh basil leaves to taste (We used about 1/3 cup of African basil leaves but you can use 10-12 Italian basil leaves, torn)
- Toasted baguette slices
Prepare the Chicken:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a wide sauté pan or braising pot, heat the neutral cooking oil over medium-high heat until very hot.
- Pat the chicken dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan, skin-side down, and cook without moving for 5-6 minutes or until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Flip the legs and cook 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. You may need to cook in batches, depending on how large your legs are.
Cook the Aromatics:
- Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of chicken fat in the pan. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes or until it begins to soften.
- Add the garlic and sliced hot pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Pour the chicken broth into the pan and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of pan. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Add the paprika and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.
Finish the Roast Chicken:
- Nestle the chicken legs into the broth and transfer to the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 165ºF.
- Remove from the oven and carefully stir the basil leaves into the broth.
- Spoon the tomato-basil broth into bowls and place a chicken leg on each bowl. Serve with toasted bread. Enjoy!