What's For Dinner: Sticky and Sweet Roasted Chicken Drumsticks


I'm still cooking my way through our freezer stash, so with a little forethought, I thawed some chicken drumsticks and prepped a marinade this week. (Typically I forget to allow time for thawing and/or marination, so this was a bit of a miracle for me.) Though the recipe I worked from only calls for two hours or marination, I figured it wouldn't be a problem to let it marinate overnight instead. And then when I didn't feel like making the drumsticks for dinner after 12 hours of marination, I decided an extra day of swimming in the sweet and savory marinade would just make the chicken that much tastier. Of course, with an n of 1 (statistics talk) I can't say for sure whether my hypothesis was correct, I can assure you that going extra long with the marination time definitely leads to tasty chicken. Though I used skin-on chicken drumsticks, I think this would work just as well with skinless ones (and when I make this again, I'm pretty sure I will go ahead and remove the skin before marinating and cooking), and this marinade would also be a lovely addition to boneless/skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs. (For those of us, ahem, me, that are skeeved out by eating things off the bone.)

Sticky and Sweet Roasted Chicken Drumsticks (printer-friendly version)
makes two servings

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
2 fresh rosemary sprigs (4-5 inch pieces)
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 organic chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (I used black sesame seeds, you could also use white sesame seeds and toast them if you prefer)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1. In a gallon plastic zip-top bag (or a large airtight container), combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves, and black pepper. Use your fingers to gently squoosh (technical cooking term, ha!) the ingredients to mix them together. Add in the chicken and smooth out any air from the bag before zippering it closed. Marinate in the fridge overnight (I left mine in the marinade for two days), gently shaking the bag/flipping it over every once in a while.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the marinated chicken drumsticks on the prepped baking sheet, reserving the marinade. Roast the chicken in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
3. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Place the reserved marinade into a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Boil for three minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
4. Use a pastry brush to brush the thickened sauce onto the cooked chicken. You can then opt to lightly caramelize the sauce by cooking the chicken for an additional 5 minutes, or serve as-is. Right before serving, garnish the drumsticks with the sesame seeds and fresh thyme leaves.

(adapted from this Giada De Laurentiis recipe)

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