Oven baked chicken legs

For many years, chicken legs has been a food that we’ve made whenever we have been short on money, or when we haven’t had any idea on what to cook, or when we wanted to have a nice dinner with minimal effort.

Originally the concept was to fry the legs, boil the rice, and consume with salad. The mix of grease, oil and spices left in the bottom of the pan was just thrown away. One time I had this idea to try to use the drippings as a gravy for the rice. And it was incredibly good! Since then we have wondered several times, how we could throw away such a delicious part of the dinner.

Years passed, and the chicken and rice were eaten with the delicious drippings. And poof! A new idea: couldn’t you cook other things in the drippings as well, besides the chicken: wouldn’t that make even more filling gravy! And so we have taken one step forward. Now the chicken is baking in the oven with for example tomatoes, garlic, celery and mozzarella. The taste has gone so far from where we started years ago when first making this dish – not sure if it can get any better from here!

Of course some things are still the same – good meal when you’re short on money, good option when you have no idea what to cook and still takes very little effort to make.

PORTION: 2 servings
TIME TO MAKE: 35 minutes


  • 6 chicken legs
  • 2 big tomatoes or several cherry tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 6-8 slices of mozzarella
  • oil
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • paprika powder
  • turmeric (curcuma) powder
  • curry power
  • lemon
  • fresh minced basil

Preheat the oven to 220°C (428°F)

Grease a pan and spread the chicken legs evenly in it. Spice both sizes of the legs with salt, pepper, paprika, kurkuma and curry. Pour a dash of oil on top of the legs and squeeze a good amount of lemon juice on top of them as well.


Slice the tomatoes and place in the pan between the chicken legs.

Slice about one centimeter thick pieces from mozzarella and place in the pan.

Cut the celery stalks to small pieces and add them in the pan as well.

Peel and cut the garlic cloves and spread evenly in the pan.

Pour a dash of oil on top of the vegetables and add fresh minced basil.

Bake in the middle section of the oven for about 20 minutes and add mozzarella and chopped  basil.

Grease the legs with the drippings couple times while they’re in the oven.


Then bake for about ten minutes more (time depends on the size of the legs: small ones might be done a bit quicker while bigger ones might need bit more than half an hour to be ready).

Serve with rice.


Tags: oven baked chicken legs with halloumi vegetables mozarella

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