Cooking has been a bit of a lack lustre affair these past couple of weeks, thanks to a troublesome tooth that’s been killing my buzz in the kitchen. Though these pictures of succulently burnished chicken drummies might testify to the contrary (I know; I can’t believe it either). Unless, of course, I’m getting ahead of myself and assuming that they draw you in like they did me. Either way what you see here is the result of greed trumping achy tooth and the need to put something – anything – exciting on my plate even if wasn’t going to be a picnic for that messed up molar.
Oh! I forgot to mention another critical deciding factor – my humiliating dentist experience. Who hasn’t had one of those, eh? Well, apparently not too many women who talk swagger and look intimidating. So, yes this ranks right up there with juicy chuck drummies. What ensued was a near scream fest when the dentist’s drill worked over a cavity – me at the sudden sharp jolt of pain, doc at the shock of having an ear-splitting scream explode in his face; then me struggling to contain a laughing fit only to find that it was replaced by two tears that tickled on their way down into my ears.
Angry and humiliated, I swore to never again be a snivelling wimp over a little physical pain; vowed to hate mankind; resolved to drill myself thoroughly in the basics of dentistry (they do say knowledge is power) to decrease dependence on sullen dentists; and craved asylum on an uninhabited place somewhere far, far away.
When none of the above happened, I turned to my one refuge – food. I remembered two packages of plump chicken drumsticks – I’d stashed in the freezer – awaiting a glorious fate in some chipotle spiked sauce. Well, I couldn’t find chipotle sauce anywhere, but those drummies were coming out of the icebox. As it turned out, they were still destined for great things and a few very impatient, very hungry mouths.
To be honest, I had no clear strategy when I thawed the drumsticks, except for comfort in the knowledge that they were a guaranteed time-saver, a complete and tasty meal and would feed a hungry crowd; my three-point agenda on week nights.
As I prepped them, a million ideas rushed in like a chaotic collage as it always does when I aim to impress on a time crunch. I was left floundering between options for a honey glaze, a spicy marinade, options to bake the drummies buffalo style, something with Sriracha… In the end, remembering it was a week night, I decided to keep it simple and rustic with my trusty trinity of herbs, garlic and lemon. I’m looking at my notes for the recipe and I see mustard as an ingredient? Oh! I remember now, I used salad mix as part of the seasoning and it listed mustard – among aromatics like dehydrated onion, garlic and parsley – as one of the ingredients. Don’t go on an emergency grocery run if you don’t have or can’t find salad mix; just use whatever appeals to your taste buds. Like I always say, these recipes represent but a fraction of the possibilities of what you can turn out at the dinner table. No kidding, the list of more professionally executed recipes and blogs is long, far reaching and far more likely to dress up your Pintrest boards than those of an amateur food blogger. However, in case you do wind up here and decide to give this a go, don’t count on any leftovers. As always, improvise, make it your own; just don’t tell me, ok.
Herb-rubbed Chicken drumsticks
- Two packages of chicken drumsticks (eight pieces total)
- Zest of one lemon
- A couple of gloves of grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1½ teaspoons of salad mix or substitute ¼ teaspoon each of dried onion flakes; granulated garlic; parsley and mustard
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Rinse and pat the chicken dry. Transfer to an oven-proof baking dish. Mix all the seasonings together and smear all over the chicken legs, once again, making sure to get under the skin. Let the herb rub steep into the chicken for half-hour.
When you’re ready to roast, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the drumsticks just before popping them into a hot oven. Roast for a total of 45 to 50 minutes, spritzing the drummies with butter spray half-way through to get them to bronzed perfection.