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Load up on endurance athlete nutrient essentials Vitamin B, zinc, and iron with this dark meat chicken preparation*. Warm, spiced flavors marry together in a simple one-skillet meal. Easy enough for weeknight fare, yet creative enough for a dinner get-together. Serve up with garbanzo beans, potatoes, or couscous and the meal is complete.
*There is a negligible amount of extra calories and fat in dark meat, which is well worth the extra vitamins and minerals.
4 whole chicken legs (thigh and leg attached)
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper, optional for spice
1 cup white wine
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp flour
1 heaping cup pitted green olives
1/3 cup golden raisins (or sliced dried apricots or dates)
2 lemons sliced
8 sprigs thyme
¼ cup toasted chopped or slivered almonds
1. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, ginger, cumin, salt, pepper and optional cayenne.
2. Pat the chicken legs/thighs dry with paper towel. Lifting the skin, rub the meat of the chicken and then the outside of the skin with the spices. Let the chicken sit for 20 minutes, or cover and let sit up to overnight in the fridge.
3. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
4. Heat a large skillet, with one-tablespoon oil, over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 7-8 minutes until golden. Remove from the pan to a plate.
5. Turn heat to medium high, add the other tablespoon olive oil to the pan and let the oil get hot. Place the chicken legs/thighs into the pan and let sear until a golden crust forms, about 90 seconds per side. Remove from the pan to the plate with the onions.
6. Immediately turn heat to medium low, and whisk the one-tablespoon flour, with the oil and bits in the pan, for 30 seconds until the mixture turns golden (do not burn).
7. Whisk the white wine into the flour mixture in the pan. Let bubble on low for one-minute.
8. Add the chicken back to the pan with the meatier part face down. Scatter the olives, golden raisins, thyme sprigs and lemon slices into the pan. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
9. After 20 minutes, turn the chicken legs/thighs over. Give the mixture in a pan a stir with a spoon and pour it over the chicken to keep it moist. Rearrange the thyme and lemon slices to decorate the top of the chicken.
10. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes longer. Uncover, turn oven to Hi Broil and broil the top of the chicken/lemon slices until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven, let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve with olives, raisins and juices from pan poured over the chicken. Top with toasted almonds.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.