Basil and Five-Spice Chicken Legs

  • Yield 4 servings
  • Prep 15 mins
  • Cook 25 mins

A salad of cantaloupe dresses up these marinated, grilled chicken legs.

National Chicken Council


4 -- chicken leg quarters
16 -- basil leaves
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 stalk lemon grass, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
Cantaloupe Salad:
1/2 -- cantaloupe, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 -- basil leaves, sliced


  1. Lift the skin on leg quarters and press 4 basil leaves under each.  Place chicken in resealable plastic bags. 
  2. In blender, mix 1 tablespoon five-spice powder, lemon grass, soy sauce, vegetable oil and water.  Puree until smooth.  Pour mixture into plastic bag with chicken; seal and shake until chicken is coated.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, prepare coals for grill, or preheat gas grill.  Place chicken on grill over medium heat and cook, turning, until firm and cooked thoroughly, about 10 to 15 minutes per side.
  4. While chicken is cooking, prepare salad by whisking together in medium bowl five-spice powder, rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Arrange cantaloupe slices on serving plates or platter.  Drizzle salad dressing over cantaloupe; sprinkle with slivered basil leaves.  Place chicken legs next to salad to serve.



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