Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sweet and Sticky Chicken Legs

I absolutely love bone-in chicken.  A lot of people I know would much rather cook with boneless, skinless chicken breast (which I like too), but I just think that bone-in chicken is so much more flavorful and juicy.  I also prefer the dark meat so I often will roast up bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs.  For me, boneless skinless chicken breast can get dry baking in the oven (which is why I almost always bread and pan fry boneless chicken breasts instead of just baking them), and the color just isn't as appealing as roasted bone-in chicken with the skin on. 

Anyway, I was looking through one of Giada's cookbooks (Giada's Kitchen:  New Italian Favorites) and spotted this recipe using bone-in drumsticks.  It ended up juicy and sweet (and a little messy), and I served it with a side of cous cous.  I will be making this one again sometime, except next time I will probably use both drumsticks and thighs.


1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup soy sauce
5 fresh rosemary sprigs
5 garlic cloves, halved
10 to 12 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


Combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves in a large, resealable plastic bag. Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar. Add the chicken drumsticks to the bag and seal, squeezing out as much air from the bag as possible. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Remove the chicken drumsticks from the bag, reserving the marinade, and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes.

Use a pastry brush to brush some of the cooked marinade on the cooked chicken. Place the chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the chopped parsley.

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