Updated: Jul 25, 2019
What I absolutely love about this dish in addition to the flavors, is the price point and how inexpensive it is. I often balk at the prices of meat, especially when it comes to buying pastured or grass fed and finished meats. For some reason Chicken Legs are still pretty cheap despite the fact that many will argue it's one of the best parts of the chicken.
A little extra detail to this dish is done by adding large cubes of bread that you can use in a Panzanella salad or eat them on their own as "chicken bread". The cubes of bread are used to raise the chicken off of the bottom of the pan allowing it to cook a little more evenly.
10 -12 Free Range Chicken Legs 1/3c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Bunch Fresh Thyme 2 Tbsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves, minced 2 Tbsp. Kosher or Sea Salt
2 Lemons Firm structured bread to cut into 2"-3"cubes
I always like to give my chicken a little wash in the sink before preparing it. Then patting it dry with a paper towel. After you have completed this step, place the chicken legs in in a large mixing bowl. On a clean cutting board, peel the garlic cloves by smashing it and peeling of the skin or by using your knife or fingernails. If you smashed it, your already ahead of the game, just chop the garlic into a small mince and add it to the bowl of raw chicken. Try to remove as many of the tiny Thyme leaves as possible, a little stem is okay but the leaf is preferable. No need to chop them just put it right in the bowl with the chicken and garlic. Add the salt and fresh ground pepper, Olive Oil and lemon juice from one lemon into the bowl and mix well.
For the bread cubes you will need something unsliced, or small dinner rolls to make your "chicken blocks". I like to cut them into 3"-4" squares, and you'll need about 1.5 as many cubes or more per chicken leg. In other words if you're doing 10 legs than you should have about 15 cubes prepped and ready.
Now that everything is prepped its time to build your baking sheet or pan. Place the cubed bread on the bottom of the pan distributing it evenly and then place the chicken legs on the bread. Resting them so that some pieces of bread are holding two pieces of chicken. Its okay if it's not perfect and a leg ends up resting on the bottom of the pan. Slice the remaining lemon into wedges, give them a light squeeze on the chicken and place them on the baking tray to go into the oven.
Cook the legs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees which should take about 40-45 minutes.