I often buy ten-pound bags of chicken leg quarters. They are low in price, and I make several meals out of each bag.
I prep the leg quarters by cutting them into three pieces.
On the left is the drumstick, the center is the thigh, and the right is the partial back section. There are usually 10-12 leg quarters in each bag, so I prepare them all this way.
The back sections go into a pot to boil for broth. Boil these for several hours until the meat falls off the bones. Strain through a colander, then refrigerate overnight. You will be able to skim the fat off the top easily after the broth has chilled.
|Ready to boil|
I usually prepare the thighs and the legs differently for variety. Today, the drums are going in a bag with about a cup of Frank's Hot Sauce to marinate overnight. I will use these to make Buffalo-Style drums tomorrow. The drumsticks are larger and less expensive than chicken wings--and they taste as good! I bake them, rather than frying them as traditional Buffalo Wings are cooked.
|Drums marinating in sauce|
Alternative flavors for the drums include using Asian spices, Berbere paste, Harissa paste...any flavor you would like.
I'm going to oven-fry the thighs today. I toss them with a little flour seasoned with salt and pepper, and arrange them skin side up on a broiler pan, so the fat can drip through.
|Thighs ready to go in the oven|
Again, there are many alternative ways to season these. You might choose a mix of Mexican spices, curry spices, Asian spices, lemon pepper...what ever you wish to use. Just mix your chosen spices in with the flour and dust lightly.
For the oven-fried thighs, I place the pan in a 400 degree F oven for about 40 minutes. I then take the pan out, and with a pair of tongs, carefully turn over the pieces to allow the bottoms to crisp a bit. After turning them over, I put them back in the oven for about 15 minutes. Because I want the skin to crisp a bit more, I usually pull them out after the 15 minutes are complete, turn them over again, turn off the oven, and allow the residual heat to brown them a bit more.
Out of this bag, I now have broth, Buffalo drums, and oven-fried thighs. Extras can be frozen for later. Of course, there are many other ways to prepare thighs and drums--experiment! Creating a variety of meals is easy--and at $.59-$.69 per pound (even less sometimes!), it is frugal, too.