Chicken drumsticks get a leg up on looks and flavor in this recipe by Guest Chef Phillip Schaaf. He uses a technique called "frenching" to pare back some of the tissue and expose the bone for a fancier presentation. Don't worry. It's not difficult. He explains how below. Sometimes called "drummies" or "lollipops," these tasty treats are tender, sweet, and spicy. The accompanying salad is the perfect bright companion with some great crunch from the peanuts on top. Makes a great appetizer or depending on your portion, a nice meal.
12-inch pan with a lid (make sure it's oven safe)
1 gallon freezer bag or reusable container
6-8 Grass Roots pasture-raised chicken drumsticks, frenched (how-to details below)
2 tsp chili powder (aleppo, smoked paprika or piment d'espelette are all options)
1½ tbsp sriracha hot chili sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp sugar
1½ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾ cup mint leaves
½ cup cilantro leaves
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch rounds
1 carrot, peeled and cut into ribbon strips with a vegetable peeler
2 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt
½ cup unsalted roasted peanuts, crushed
Prep and Marinate the Drumsticks:
1. French the drumsticks. This might sound pretty fancy but it isn't, and it will make the chicken more tender. All you need to do is cut around the bone end of the drumstick to sever all the skin and tendons. Then use your knife to scrape the meat towards the meaty end and expose the bone.
2. Rub the drumsticks with your salt, pepper, sugar, chili powder, and cilantro.
3. Place the drumsticks in a 1 gallon freezer bag with the sriracha and white vinegar. This will make it easy to squish the marinade around for maximum deliciousness.
4. Let the chicken marinate overnight. Give the bag or container a shake or two to move the marinade around.
Roast the Drummies:
1. Place your oven rack near the top and set your oven to 350°.
2. Place the marinated chicken in the pan with ¼ cup water, put the lid on, and place in the oven. Set a timer for 45 minutes.
3. Remove the lid (be careful of the steam), turn the oven to 450°, and put the chicken back in the oven for 20-25 minutes. It should be golden brown.
4. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and place it in a big bowl to rest. Be sure to get all the drippings in the bowl too.
Prepare Salad and Plate:
1. Place the mint, cilantro, scallions, cucumber rounds, and carrot ribbons in a mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Give it all a toss.
2. Divide the salad amongst your plates, putting a nice, tall pile in the center.
3. Roll your frenched drumsticks around in the pan drippings, prop the up on the salad and drizzle with olive oil and crushed peanuts. Repeat for each plate.
4. Serve it with a lime wedge - tell everyone to squeeze it on the chicken right before they dig in.