These photographs of Roast Chicken Legs with Mushroom Sauce were part of the series from my last post featuring Roasted Carrot Soup. I photographed this series for a client and none of the recipes are my own. I cannot share the recipes here, but I thought you might enjoy the photos and a few tidbits I learned during the project. I don’t think I’ve ever bought chicken legs (meaning thigh and drumstick all in one piece), and I was pleasantly surprised by them. First, chicken legs are cheap – even cheaper per pound than buying a whole bird. Second, there’s a lot of meat on those bones. Third, the meat is quite tasty.
For this recipe, the chicken legs were simply roasted in a pan with onion wedges, a drizzle of oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Once cooked through and golden brown, I set the chicken and onions aside and made a quick pan sauce. Sautéed onions and mushrooms simmered in a mixture of pan juices, red wine, milk, and flour until the sauce thickened. While the sauce simmered my husband and I nibbled at the roast onion wedges, which were the best part of the dish! Following the recipe, I served the roast chicken on a platter with a generous handful of fresh parsley and mushroom sauce on the side. After cooking this recipe, I think I’ll be using chicken legs more often, especially in braised or stewed dishes that call for a whole bird broken down into 8 pieces.
Several of you commented favorably about the lighting in my Roasted Carrot Soup photos a few days ago. Aside from new cooking techniques, I’ve been experimenting with artificial lighting since my north-facing apartment seems to be in perpetual darkness this time of year. The sun doesn’t rise high enough in the horizon to shine through my window, so I have to make my own light. Ever since I picked up a camera two years ago I’ve been in love with natural light. There’s something about it that really seems to bring photos alive. I often see good-looking photos that are technically correct but seem to lack something special, that spark. For these shoots I tried to create that energy using shadows to add drama. This was the first time I felt excited about the possibilities of artificial light, and I’m looking forward to learning more.