HI HI HI.
We're using DRUMSTICKS! why? well, because they're cheap. and I'm, like, super frugal.
AND we're using them because they're juicy and flavorful and FORGIVING. if i had to give you just ONE reason i love drumsticks, it would be that they're forgiving.
i'm ALWAYS paranoid that i'm undercooking our poultry. like, if i see ANY pink in the meat, i make frankie give it back and i'll put it in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
sooooo when we're eating chicken breasts, we're generally eating overcooked chicken. (which, btw is dry and NOT enjoyable). and before you're like “ashley just get a meat thermometer” – i already have one, i just CAN'T get over the paranoia of seeing pink meat.
BUT. when we're eating drumsticks it's like no big deal. drumsticks are dark meat so they can withstand a little more heat without drying out. which means I can be sure they're fully cooked and frankie doesn't have to eat dry chicken. (what we like to refer to as a win/win around here)
you know what else is a win/win?
a dinner that's easy & healthy & DELISH. or would that be a win/win/win?
whatever, it's seriously just SO easy. especially if you prep ahead!
OH OH OH. another reason i love love love this recipe is because it uses similar ingredients to those in my DIY Taco Bar recipe and my guacamole oR OR OR my copy-cat chop't mexican dressing! SOOOOO. it means you just have to buy an extra avocado/jalapeño/lime etc. and just use what's leftover from your cilantro bunch/red onion/bell pepper!
what i'm trying to say is: same ingredients, different dishes, different flavors. the meal planning tri-fecta! (especially if you're thinking about this for whole30 purposes!)
alright i'm done trying to convince you to make these…. i'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
LOOK AT THE GLISTENING BOTTOM OF MY CASK IRON SKILLET. i can't deal with how pretty it is, so shiny and perfect and just WAITING to sizzle when i plop in some chicken. ugh.
i also CAN'T deal with how easy it is to make these drumsticks.
here's the secret to cooking them in a cast iron skillet: put them on the skillet and just let. it. rest. seriously. it's gonna sizzle and hiss and you just have to let it! if you try to pull the chicken up and turn it too soon it'll stick to the bottom of the skillet, you have to let it sear enough to release itself from the pan. just relax and let it work. thennnnn flip it and be patient again!
we're gonna sear it and let it do it's thing until it's pretty golden on all sides and then we're gonna finish it off in the oven with a schmear of the leftover marinade on each of the drumsticks!
aka – this green, pesto-like, liquid gold!
when we put this over the drumsticks and bake it up it gets all caramel-y & sticky against the chicken. and what doesn't stick to the chicken will fall to the bottom of the skillet and will get all crispy and burnt – which happens to be MYYYYY favorite condiment. When i take the drumsticks off the skillet i scrape off the bits at the bottom of the bowl and mix them in with half the quinoa (frankie isn't the biggest fan of the bits!) for my bowls.
sighhhh. i think that drumsticks just remind me of summer. like my summertime chicken drumsticks! remember those?! SO. GOOD.
let's just eat drumsticks forever. you can come over and i'll make them!
(i always keep drumsticks in the freezer for easy access!)
and AVOCADO! if you're into the chunks go for it! i, of course, mash mine up when i get ready to eat the bowl… cause you know, i'm a texture freak. sigh.
oh anddddd if you want a dressing – i used a thinned out version of the basil mayo from these turkey sandwiches! (p.s. if you were into the whole meal prep thing – the turkey sandwiches also use spiralized onions & red bell pepper!)
- for the marinade:
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 lime
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- salt & pepper, to taste
- for the drumsticks:
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks (approximately 8 drumsticks)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt & pepper
- for the bowls:
- 1/2 cup quinoa, [url href=”http://thepikeplacekitchen.com/cooking-one-basic-flavorful-quinoa/” target=”_blank”]cooked[/url]
- 1 red bell pepper, spiralized
- 1/4 red onion, spiralized
- 1 avocado, cubed
- salt & pepper
- dressing of your choice
- To prep the ingredients, slice the bottom end of the stems off the cilantro, slice the pepper into rounds, peel the garlic cloves, and juice the lime. Combine the prepped ingredients with the remaining four marinade ingredients into a food processor. Blend until the ingredients are broken down and at an almost pesto-like consistency.
- Cover the chicken drumsticks with the mixture and place in a ziplock bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the two tablespoons of olive oil to a large cast iron skillet and heat over medium/high heat until the oil sizzles. Add the drumsticks to the skillet and sear for five minutes before flipping them over to get a sear on the opposite side. After you sear the opposite side for five minutes, transfer the skillet to finish in the oven for 15 minutes. (I spread the leftover marinade, from the ziplock bag, over the drumsticks before putting them in the oven!)
- Divide the quinoa, pepper, onion, and avocado amongst four bowls. Place two chicken drumsticks in each bowl or alternatively, remove the meat from the bones, dice the meat, and divide evenly across the bowls. Top with your dressing of choice, I used the basil mayo from [url href=”http://thepikeplacekitchen.com/basil-mayo-turkey-sandwiches/” target=”_blank”]these turkey sandwiches[/url], thinned out with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a little lime juice! I also offer the scraped up bits from the bottom of the skillet for the bowls, I really love them but Frankie prefers his without, it's an option to consider!
^^^ so now you know what i'll be eating all summer.
Make it? Lemme see it! Hashtag it: #thepikeplacekitchen
* this post may contain affiliate amazon links. I earn a SMALL commission on purchases you make through amazon, at NO ADDITIONAL cost to you. you use amazon exactly as you used to and are still entitled to the same deals you would get through a non-affiliate link. I only endorse products I actually use in my own kitchen and likely have paid for on my own – if i'm recommending it, it means I truly believe in the quality of the product. thank you for supporting the Pike Place Kitchen and helping to keep the blog up and running.