Recipe: Asian-ish Balsamic Drumsticks, or Variations on a Theme

UntitledI’m finding my time freer these days.  I have more time to cook, and I’m having fun playing around with my camera and iPhoto (mental note: upgrade to Aperture).  Don’t be surprised if you get a few more recipes from me (but don’t worry– there are reviews on the way, too).

I kind of love Giada de Laurentiis. Yes, she’s sort of irritating at times. No, I’m not convinced she actually eats the food she cooks. She does, however, have some great, quick recipes that are fantastic go-tos. My balsamic chicken (which I’ve now memorized) is an example of a recipe of hers I love. A second is her recipe for sticky balsamic chicken drumsticks.

I guess the woman knows her way around some balsamic.

I’m not someone, however, who leaves well enough alone.  I thought I’d make some of these drumsticks this past week, but realized a couple of things:

1. 2 hours? That’s all you marinate?  Longer might be better.

2. I had no rosemary.  A travesty, yes, but I didn’t want to go to the grocery store.

So what’s a girl to do?  Improvise.  I love spicy-sweet Asian dishes, so why not add some Sriracha instead of rosemary?  Why not add a lot of Sriracha?

So I did.

The best tip in Giada’s recipe is to use a large plastic bag for the marinade.  A mixing bowl works fine, but you don’t get the same kind of even marination.  You pour in all of the ingredients and then squish it around (saving you from having to clean a bowl).  2 hours isn’t quite enough marination time, in my opinion, so I tossed it in the fridge overnight, turning it at least once while in the fridge.

Oh, and this is fantastic with local honey (I use Don Popp’s) and Bourbon Barrel Foods’ Soy Sauce (you can purchase it online or at Madison’s or Park + Vine).  Good ingredients take this up a notch.

Sticky Balsamic Drumsticks (mostly by Giada de Laurentiis)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce

5 garlic cloves, halved

Sriracha to taste— I used about 1/8 cup and they were perfectly spicy for my taste.  That was two, generous, lengthy squirts. You may want to use more or less.  Just taste as you go.  And click on that link, as it’s freaking hilarious.

10 or so chicken drumsticks, about 2 pounds.

1. The day before you want to cook the drumsticks, place all of the ingredients (except the chicken drumsticks) in a gallon plastic bag.  Mush around a bit to mix, then put the drumsticks in the bag.  Mush some more to coat and put them in the refrigerator overnight.

2. The next day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spray two baking dishes (you’ll need the room) with nonstick spray.  Place the marinated chicken drumsticks in a single layer in the baking dishes.  Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, or until the skin is brown.  Remove the chicken to a plate.

Tip: after removing the chicken from the baking dishes, immediately soak in water or else you’ll have a mess on your hands.  

3. While the chicken is baking, take the remaining marinade and boil in a small saucepan for about 15 minutes, or until thick.  It will thicken more once it’s cooled a bit.   Allow it to cool, then brush the chicken with the remaining marinade.  Serve with plenty of napkins.

Courtney from Epi-Ventures does a similar recipe, but with video (and wings) — so if you like video, check hers out.