Ulam Recipes: These Dishes Use Chicken Leg and Thighs

This cut instantly makes any recipe tastier.

Are you Team Pecho or Team Paa? There’s a good reason why these are two prime chicken choices in many chicken places. The “pecho” translates to “chest” or “breast” from Spanish and is known as the chicken breast. The “paa” or leg of the chicken commonly refers to the entire leg, which includes the thighs. These two, when still attached together, are also known as the chicken leg quarter.  

Chicken leg quarter is a cut that you can ask from your butcher. It’s a common cut because this is the result of one of the basic cuts when breaking down or cutting up a whole chicken. Butchers normally separate the chicken leg quarter before proceeding to separate it into the chicken leg and chicken thigh. (Did you know that buying a whole chicken is cheaper than buying chicken parts? Learn this basic kitchen skill and you can start saving when you go grocery shopping.)  

The chicken leg quarter is a great cut if you’re a fan of dark meat. Dark meat on the chicken is those parts that have seen more exercise than other parts. These are the thighs, wings, and legs. These chicken parts are a fantastic cut because it’s more flavorful than the breast or white meat. It’s the tastier cut because of two things: it contains bones, has fat, and is dark meat, all of which will make any dish made from this chicken cut tastier just by using it. 

It’s common to find recipes using chicken legs and thighs for grilling and frying. This is because there is more fat in these cuts than in white meat. This is good news because it’s this fat that naturally keeps it moist when it’s being cooked.  


Make this prime chicken cut a favorite in your house by using any of these delicious chicken recipes: 

1 Fried Chicken Recipes  

You can’t go wrong with a fried chicken recipe. Whether you’re working with a whole chicken, cut up into chicken pieces, or just the chicken leg quarters that you further separate into legs and thighs, these recipes will ensure that you will always have delicious chicken on the table. 

Keep it simple with a classic fried chicken recipe marinated in buttermilk and then coated in seasoned flour, Southern-style with gravy. Steam cook it with a few Chinese ingredients to make an Oriental version with crispy skin. You can even coat it in starch instead of flour and toss it with a super flavorful soy sauce and garlic-based sauce ala Korean style, too. 

Photo by Majoy Siason

2 Chicken In Creamy Mushroom Sauce Recipe 

These chicken thighs are simmered in a creamy and chunky mushroom sauce. Feel free to add in the chicken legs, too, to make this extra chunky and delicious. You can even add some kang kong or water spinach to the sauce to give it some greens. Just be prepared for the unli rice requests! 


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Photo by Patrick Martires

3 Roast Tamarind Chicken Recipe 

The tamarind or sampaloc is a tangy ingredient that many of us love when made into a soup. This love we have developed for this flavor is what makes this roast chicken a recipe we can easily fall in love with, too. You don’t even need to use a whole chicken for this recipe and instead just use the parts you have. 

Want to make a chicken that’s just as delicious using another Filipino favorite ingredient? Try this roast chicken recipe using coconut milk or gata

Photo by Rico Jose

4 Citrus-Baked Chicken Recipe 

You’ll need lemon and oranges to make this baked chicken recipe. If you love lemon chicken and orange chicken, then you’ll appreciate what’s going on in this baked chicken dish. Just imagine both dishes married into one dish and that’s what you’ll taste in this unique citrus-based recipe. 


Not into oranges? You can ditch the orange and swap it out with garlic for a lemony, garlic-baked chicken recipe. Another idea is to skip the citrus all together and go for a Chinese-inspired scallion, ginger, and garlic sauce to top each chicken piece. Whatever you decide, the flavors of these baked chicken legs and thighs will be worth every taste. 

Photo by Dairy Darilag

5 Chicken Caldo Recipe 

What is “caldo”? It means “soup” at its most basic so a “chicken caldo” is really a basic chicken soup. It can be as simple a nilagang manok made more flavorful with different ingredients than what you would normally use for a tinola. You can even use the leftover from this basic chicken soup as the base of an arroz caldo

Photo by Jeffrey Tan

6 Peri-Peri Fried Chicken Recipe 

A peri peri sauce is a chili sauce made from the peri peri chili pepper from Africa. We have a chili pepper that’s just as potent: the siling labuyo. Use this along with olive oil, garlic, paprika, lemon juice or vinegar, and salt to make the sauce. You can even add some dried oregano to give it a more herby flavor. Use this sauce as the marinade of your chicken or make double the amount to toss or serve on the side once cooked. 

Photo by Aldwin Aspillera

7 Spiced Chicken Recipe 

This spiced chicken is not your ordinary chicken! This chicken recipe is actually quite simple: just add the ingredients to the pot along with the chicken leg quarters and let it simmer until tender. Serve it with a contrasting flavored fried rice such as the salted fish fried rice accompanying recipe for an exceptional meal that will satisfy your love for Chinese food. 



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