Freezer Friendly, Meals

Roasted Five Spice Chicken Legs

I try not to write about two similar dishes in a row, but I can’t resist featuring these roasted five spice chicken legs from Skinnytaste even though I’ve already written about an Asian-inspired meat entree this week. These chicken legs were a snap to prepare, made my house smell heavenly, and at only 295 servings per chicken leg (that’s thigh and drumstick, with skin on!), it’s waistline-friendly, too. The skin turns out crispy, savory but with a slightly sweet undertone, and full of aromatic five spice flavor (but not overwhelmingly so). The meat inside is tender and juicy. Even Jack and Derek, who can sometimes be iffy with meat, each gobbled up nearly a whole chicken leg. Johnny commented that this was a restaurant-quality entree, but without the restaurant heaviness or calories. Success!

This recipe is versatile, too. I used whole leg quarters with the skin on, but you could also use drumsticks, with or without skin, chicken breasts, or even a whole chicken.

Roasted Five Spice Chicken Legs (from Skinnytaste)

Makes 6 servings (one whole leg — thigh + drumstick — per serving)


  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon agave (or sugar)
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (found in the spice aisle; McCormick, Spice Island and other major spice manufacturers all make it)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 chicken legs (thighs and legs attached), fat trimmed (approximately 3 pounds of chicken)


Toss all of the ingredients except the chicken into a blender; process until smooth. The marinade will be thick.

Place the chicken legs into a large zip-top plastic bag, then pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal up the bag and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for 6-8 hours. I occasionally turned the bag to make sure the chicken was being coated evenly with the marinade.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with foil, then place a roasting rack on top of the foil. Arrange the chicken legs on top of the rack. A flat rack is best, but I didn’t have one of those, so I made do with my V-rack. If you don’t have any roasting racks, you can improvise by balling up some aluminum foil, placing the balls on the foil-lined pan, and setting the chicken atop the foil balls. You’re just trying to lift the chicken off the bottom of the pan, so this method should work fine.

Place a piece of foil over the chicken legs, creating a loose tent. Slide the pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue roasting until the internal temperature is 165°-170°F, about 45 minutes longer (Insert thermometer between the leg and the thigh). I didn’t bother with the thermometer; I just roasted for 45 more minutes, then took the pan out of the oven, let the meat rest for 10 minutes, then inserted a knife between the leg and the thigh to see if the juices ran clear. They did, so I knew the chicken was done.

Serve with some rice or noodles and vegetables on the side for a complete meal. Enjoy!


About Saucy Mommy

I'm Beverly, a mom of two who loves to cook and write. Check out my blog at for family-friendly (but tasty) meal ideas and pictures of bento box lunches.


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