Chicken legs are often a more affordable choice than boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but healthy eaters may dismiss them because of their higher calorie and fat content. With careful preparation, though, eating chicken legs doesn’t have to come at the expense of your waistline. With a few healthy tweaks, prepared sauces and less-expensive proteins, such as chicken legs, can come together in a smart and delicious dinner, especially when it's made in a Crock-Pot.. And as an added bonus, darker meat becomes more tender in the slow cooker than white meat. In your preparation, incorporate Frank's BBQ sauce into the mix. The sauce hails from Philadelphia, and in 2011, was nominated for "The Best of Philly" Hot List.
Rinse the chicken legs and pat them dry with paper towels.
Place one of the legs on a cutting board and carefully remove the skin. The skin adds fat and calories to your dish and the chicken will remain flavorful without the skin, particularly with the addition of barbecue sauce. Repeat the process with the remaining legs.
Spray the bottom of the Crock-Pot with canola oil and then layer the onions along the bottom of the crock. Turn the warmer unit onto the high setting and add the garlic cloves.
Arrange the chicken legs on top of the onions, leaving room between each piece so the legs cook evenly.
Sprinkle the chicken legs with salt and pepper and then pour the barbecue sauce over each piece of chicken.
Cook the legs for 1 hour on high. To ensure that the fat and caloric content remains low, you don't have to brown the chicken in a skillet with oil before adding to the slow cooker; however, cooking the legs on high for one hour kills harmful micro-organisms more quickly.
Reduce the heat to the low setting and cook for an additional 7 to 8 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The USDA recommends that poultry should be cooked to a safe internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
- Resist the temptation to lift the lid during the cooking process or you may need to increase the cooking time by 15 to 30 minutes for each time you lift the lid.
- A Crock-Pot is a brand of slow cooker, but any slow cooker should work well for your recipes.
- This technique should work with any jarred barbecue sauce.
Kristie Brown is a publisher, writer and editor. She has contributed to magazines, textbooks and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.
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