It’s officially Labor Day! I don’t know about you, but I love the fall season, so while many are mourning the unofficial end of summer, I’m ecstatic about being able to wear comfy sweaters and cozy boots soon. Call me crazy, but this Puerto Rican girl DOES NOT like the heat, unless it’s coming from the kitchen. Speaking of heat, I just finished whipping up some delish chimichurri chicken drumsticks! For more about chimichurri, check out my post all about it!
A key to making any chicken delish is making sure it’s well seasoned, and juicy. In this recipe, we’ll use the chimichurri as a marinade, but how can we make the chicken juicy and keep it from drying up on the grill? BRINE! Yup, that same technique everyone talks about when it comes to roasting Thanksgiving turkeys is useful all year long, for pork, chicken, turkey and more! Here’s a great article with more information.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s go over the recipe rundown.
Chimichurri Chicken Drumsticks
1 recipe of my spicy chimichurri sauce + 1 tsp of salt
8 to 12 chicken drumsticks
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat your oven to 400°F and set up a large sheet pan with a baking rack on top. This will promote even cooking and heat circulation.
Now, we need to get that chicken dry, so the wet marinade can stick to it. So remove the drumsticks from the brine, and pat them dry.
Next, we have to get the marinade onto the meat. The problem with a lot of chicken recipes is that the outside of the bird gets highly seasoned, but the meat gets neglected, and you end up with delicious tasting skin, and flavorless chicken meat. So run your fingers under the skin and pull it down, exposing the chicken meat. But don’t remove it!
I’m not a big fan of chicken skin, and it’s not particularly healthy, but I don’t remove it…YET. Here’s why:
The chicken skin is going to act a jacket, and will help us do 2 things: first, it will keep the marinade tucked against the chicken meat, so it gets that delish herbal flavor from the chimichurri. Second, it will keep the meat moist, by preventing it from drying out when it’s cooking. So generously slather each piece of chicken, and then pull the skin back over it, locking the chimichurri underneath.
Pat the outside of the chicken dry with a balled up sheet of paper towel, so it gets nice and crisp. Then season the outside of the skin with some salt, pepper, and paprika. Lastly, spray each piece with a bit of olive oil.
Roast the chicken at 400°F, flipping once throughout the cooking process. These should take about 30 minutes or so, depending on your oven. You want the skin to get nice and crisp, and the internal temperature to read 165°F.
You can serve these with baked or roasted potatoes, a quinoa or pasta salad, or in my case, some rice and beans and a watercress salad.