When you have a beautiful canvas to work with, it makes things so much easier. And, that’s what happened with my North African inspired dish. I borrowed one of their popular staples (couscous) and allowed same to be a nest or bed for my citrus chicken drumsticks.
Couscous is uncooked semolina balls (likened to fine pasta). It has virtually no saturated fat and is loaded with potassium, protein, fiber, etc. A little goes a far way. Moreover, it is a a quick and easy dish to prepare.
In a stockpot, I added water, oil, bouillon, a pinch of salt and fresh thyme. Allowed same to come to a boil. Then, stirred raw couscous. Lid was added and this remained for five minutes, then couscous was fluffed with fork. To enhanced and flavored couscous roasted veggies and dried cranberries were added.
I served couscous with roasted citrus drumsticks along with garlic-flavored asparagus and broccoli.
I wanted to perk up and enhance my chicken drumsticks in a huge way without incorporating too many ingredients. Moreover, time was against me and I desired a dish that would tantalize my taste buds, but yet easy and quick. I didn’t have to venture far. All roads led me to my herb of choice which happened to be tarragon.
It had been sometime since I’ve infused tarragon in my dishes.The beauty about this herb is that its very accessible and quite inexpensive. The taste is bittersweet and provides a distinctive taste to stews, chicken, fish and tomato dishes. Love the herb in a fish dish and incorporated same with a whole snapper meal the past week-end.
Thus, I was super-excited to continue ‘rocking’ this bold and tasty herb. I marinated chicken drumsticks with salt, black pepper, crushed garlic and a dish of balsamic vinegar for approximately four hours. I was still on a rustic route so I grabbed hold of my cast iron skillet.
In hot cast iron skillet, a drizzle of canola oil was added. Chicken was brought to room temperature, garlic removed and chicken dried with paper towel. This was seared on medium to high heat on both sides with tarragon and thyme added for flavoring of oil.
A splash of water was added along with a few slices of lemon. Then, skillet was placed in a heated 375 degree oven for roasting for approximately 45 to 50 minutes turning once.
The lemon, garlic and tarragon married very well leaving a very succulent and mouth-watering sauce. I served drumsticks with vine-ripe tomatoes and finely chopped tarragon leaves along with a splash of red wine vinegar, pinch of sugar, salt, and black pepper.
A serving of left-over creamy polenta became part of the meal.
I admit, I’m not a huge beer lover. However, whenever the temperatures sky-rocket on the outskirts, I normally stock a few icy cold ones in my refrigerator. And so, the other day I bought half of a dozen and had a couple left-over. As I glimpsed my thawed drumsticks at the bottom shelf of the refrigerator an idea came to mind.
I decided to prepare and cook a beer and honey roasted chicken drumstick dish. Thus, I seasoned bone-in and skinless drumsticks with crushed garlic, salt, black pepper, thyme and half bottle of my Heineken beer. This was left overnight in a sealed zip lock bag. The other half was made into a honey and beer sauce which was used to slather over drumsticks ten to fifteen minutes to the end of the cooking period.
Marinated drumsticks were brought to room temperature after removing them from liquid (beer).
Chicken was dried with paper towel.
In a hot cast iron skillet, a drizzle of canola oil was added. Then, drumsticks were browned on both sides so as to lock in the flavors.
Roughly chopped onions and sprig of thyme were added.
Cast iron skillet was then placed inside oven for roasting at 385 degrees for 35 minutes turning once.
Beer and honey were reduced to a sauce-like consistency under low to medium heat.
Ten minutes before completion of roasting, drumsticks were brushed with beer and honey sauce.
The temperature on oven was increased to 400 degrees for a caramelizing finish.
Beer and honey roasted chicken drumsticks were served with sweet potato salad. The flavors came together superbly. The sweetness and the hint of sour married nicely.
It was a citrusy kind of affair for me and my chicken drumsticks. I love citrus. And, being here in South Florida, United States, allows me fresh oranges this time of year. Wish I could state that I visited an orchard and handpicked same; but, I didn’t. I was fortunate to select a perfectly sweet crop in the produce section of my neighborhood supermarket.
I thought I could give my seasoned drumsticks a citrusy flavor. By the way, I removed the skin and seasoned with same with salt, black pepper, crushed garlic and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar the night before. The beautiful thing about adding citrus to protein or any other food group is that immediately, amazing flavors are incorporated. As a matter a fact, whenever I add citrus to chicken, I tend to use less ingredients because the citrus shines and expels its tart-like, sweet and caramelized flavors.
I was in a rustic kind of mood; thus, I grabbed my cast iron skillet and prepped for action. With a drizzle of canola oil, I dried drumsticks on paper towel and removed traces of garlic. Chicken drumsticks were browned on both sides.
After drumsticks were browned, sliced lemon, orange, onion and the fresh juice were added.
Skillet was placed in oven for roasting at 380 degrees for approximately 45 to 50 minutes turning once. The input of orange, lemon, onion, thyme expelled all their flavors that embedded the chicken. Moreover, the lemon and orange slices acted as tendering agents for chicken. The final dish was one that roasted down to a brown chicken and caramelized citrus and onions.
Roasted citrus chicken drumsticks were served with a combination of sweet and red potatoes infused with sour cream and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. In addition, a side serving of sautéed Kale with a splash of fresh orange juice was added.