Hanging Chicken Legs

     I remember growing up, Sunday night meals were always special to me. Whether it was spending quality time with the family, discussing the past week and the upcoming week, or because it was a special dinner cooked with love  from my Mom. Whatever it was, it brings back fond memories. Lately, we haven’t been having those “special” Sunday night dinners. In fact, it’s kind of becoming a tradition of ordering Chinese delivery because we are so tired from the weekend and just don’t feel like the hassle of cooking and then cleaning up. This Sunday, I decided I was going to cook up something nice, something that would be comforting for me.  I also wanted to use my hanging chicken racks and work on a recipe that I will probably be preparing for the http://planooutlaweggfest.com/ in November.

     I got some chicken legs at the store and brought them home and seasoned them up with a bit of John Henry’s Texas Chicken Tickler rub and some garlic powder, onion powder, a bit of Italian Seasoning, some McCormick’s Montreal Chicken and some cracked black pepper. There really was no rhyme or reason, it just sounded like it would all work together.  Next, I got the Egg set up and stabilized at 375 on the dome thermometer (which generally results in about 350 at the grate level.  Decided to go with some mesquite wood chunks to give it a bit of smokey flavor.  Then I put the hanging chicken rack on the grate and placed the legs onto the rack.

Chicken Legs on the Hanging Rack

      You might be wondering what the purpose of the rack is. The hanging chicken rack actually serves three purposes. 1.) The rack allows you to cook more chicken in a smaller area than you would be able to if you laid them down flat. That is a good thing when your grilling space is limited, like on an Egg. But I actually had these racks before I had my Egg, and they came in handy when I was doing large cooks with ribs, or brisket, or turkey and still needed just a tiny bit more room to fit all the food on. 2.) When using the rack, you no longer need to worry about when to flip the chicken, because you don’t need to flip the chicken at all. 3.)  Using the rack elevates the chicken a little bit higher than if they were laying flat which prevents burning due to flare ups while also allowing them to cook more evenly.

     If you are interested in racks, they aren’t very expensive. I found mine at World Market a few years ago for about $5 apiece. You might have trouble finding them there right now as stores tend to think the “grilling season” is over. I have also seen them at Home Depot and Lowe’s. So you might check there, but they are also cutting out their “seasonal items”, so your best bet might be to go to a dedicated bbq store or look online. (I just hopped over to amazon and found them going anywhere from $5 to $22.)

30 Minute Check

      I checked on them after 30 minutes, what I was figuring would be the halfway mark. They are starting to get a nice color and everything is looking good. You’ll notice that I’m only cooking six legs (it was just the wife and I), but if you look closely, you can see that a rack will hold up to 12 legs. I’ve got two racks, so I can easily cook 24 legs at a time. Depending on the appetite of your guests and the amount and type of sides, that will easily serve 8 to 12 people.

     Here the legs are finished. They ended up taking about 45 minutes. They have a nice reddish-brown color, and didn’t burn at all. Make sure when you are cooking chicken that you cook to a minimum of 165 to be safe (pull at 160 and let rest for 5 minutes and they will carry over to 165). I’ve found that anything over that, breasts will dry out, but dark meat, like the legs and thighs can tolerate more heat. These were pulled at 180, and were moist and juicy. We plated these up with some mashed taters and some green beans and had a salad on the side.
Plated Up

      I think everything turned out wonderful . The chicken was nice and juicy, with just a hint of smoke, the skin was crispy and had a nice bite to it. I might tweak the seasonings on the legs just a tad and maybe use some cherry wood next time, but I think I’ll be doing these at the Plano Outlaw Eggfest Nov. 5. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and don’t forget to leave a comment.


13 thoughts on “Hanging Chicken Legs

  1. Nicely done! I love my chicken hanger as well. Have fun at the eggfest. My wife and I backed out of the Eggtoberfest because we needed a break from all the driving we’ve been doing lately. Also because my buddies/seus chefs cancelled on me… Wish I could go to the plano eggfest to eat up all your chicken. 😉

  2. I made these legs in the oven tonight and the seasoning is sooo tasty. I’ll certainly make them again and I plan to pass the recipe on. I used the hanging rack but I’d like to buy an oven rack when I’m not using this one. Thanks for the post!!

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