“Hello there! I asked Charles if I could occasionally share some of my favorite recipes and reflections on my travels. I’m still working on a handle, so let’s go with “Southern Latitude” as it encapsulates my appreciation of Virginian hospitality, history, and culture, as well as my interest in all yummy dishes worldwide. So, without much ado, here we go:
I decided my first contribution would be a quick culinary nod to one of Charles’ biggest passions — music! I mean, this is a guy who has studied and cherished the musical greats — from Satchmo to Segovia. With that introduction, I present to you… the chicken drumstick.
Drumsticks are indeed often overlooked when it comes to chicken. In keeping with Charles’ blog entries, I tried to find some famous poetry or song about chicken drumsticks. Everything that came up in a search was ho-hum or downright weird. Perhaps that is further testament to how belittled and unappreciated the drumstick is? But look how mundane we’ve made chicken. We eat our curries with cubed morsels of breast meat smothered in sauces, chew at sticks of unnaturally flattened meat encrusted in lemongrass and peanuts, or boringly nibble at the breading off the underside of a fried chicken breast. Who looks forward to that white slab of flavorless meat after the tasty breading or seasoning is picked off? Totally unsatisfying!
This bias is because we’re not eating chicken for what it is — a delicately flavored poultry, which when cooked well, actually tastes good. The dark meat of drumsticks have a bit more flavor, and gnawing on one drums up the deep, primal pleasure of meat by the campfire. (Sorry, bad pun! But humans have been consuming chicken since 8,000 BC and I bet there were a lot of squabbles over the last, juicy drumstick.) They’re a perfect size, and because they’re round, you can season each bite to deliver a beautiful dose of flavor. Plus, now that many are trying to cut down on huge portions of meat for various reasons, I find a couple of drumsticks deliver a beautiful dose of satisfying protein. Final plug: For those of us who are on a budget, drumsticks tend to be cheaper than other cuts.
This recipe is simple. All you need are some drumsticks (best if they have the skin on — they get nice, and crispy and this seals olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in the juices.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Make sure it’s a baking sheet with a bit of a lip; you don’t want olive oil dribbling off the slides.
Give a quick roll in the olive oil to each drumstick and space them on the sheet so they aren’t touching each other.
Sprinkle generously with pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Bake at 375 for half an hour. Turn drumsticks over and add more garlic powder, pepper and salt (same as before).
Bake another half an hour (until thoroughly cooked, and ideally they’ll have a nice, golden hue).
This recipe is easy and playful. You can add chili powder, shawarma spices, or any other spice that you “hanker.”. Let us know what variation you’ve enjoyed!
Oh, and one final suggestion: If you’re a big fan of the super chicken stock, save those drumstick bones, roast them, and add them to your stock the next time you make chicken soup. There’s tons of gelatin and useful bits and bobs in there.
History and diplomacy has shown us that food is the language of all of us. Pepper was a currency at one point. UNESCO declared Mexican cuisine “cultural humanity”. anyway, people will judge this post by their personal experience and taste buds. Looking forward to the response.” SL
Charles Clanton Rogers
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