Eaten simple or dressed up, cold or hot, chicken is one of those things that are perfect all year long. Ovens, on the other hand, are not. Firing up the oven just to roast a quick chicken drumstick meal in the thick of the summer heat just isn’t worth heating your whole house.
That does pose a dilemma; even though chicken is endlessly versatile, it does have one requirement – it has to be cooked all the way through.
Thankfully, you can have your chicken and eat it without paying a sweaty price. When the weather is sweltering, give your oven a break and get familiar with some easy stovetop chicken recipes. The stove may not have the same set-it-and-forget-it convenience of an oven, but there are plenty quick and simple recipes to choose from. And today, we are all about chicken drumsticks!
Do you like lemon pepper chicken drumsticks? We know it is common to use chicken breasts to make lemon pepper chicken, but we can tell you – drumsticks are also fantastic. Pan-seared to perfection, these drumsticks pack a ton of flavor.
But inside, they are juicy and fall-off-a-bone tender. All set, all done in under thirty minutes. This recipe gets even better – there is no baking required here. It is beneficial as you don’t need to waste time preheating the oven.
We find that in most cases for the best results you have to pan-sear meat on the stovetop and finish baking it in the oven. But that is not necessarily the case with chicken drumsticks and chicken wings. The trick here is to pan-sear over high heat and then cover the pan and finish on a low.
With the lid on, the meat is uniformly cooked on the steam inside the pan. The described method works well with chicken wings and drumsticks, which are far more forgiving than, say, chicken breast.
We like our drumsticks fall-off-the-bone tender, which means we have to cook our chicken drumsticks to 185-190 degrees Fahrenheit- just the temperature you want to for that kind of meat tenderness. When cooked to lower temperatures, we find chicken wings and drumsticks under-cooked.
It’s really up to you, though. 165 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature will yield juicy and perfectly cooked meat; it just won’t be fall-off-the-bone tender. It is incredible how a just a spoonful of oil and a little bit of patience can result in tender, juicy chicken with golden, crisp skin.
Are Chicken Drumsticks Healthy To Eat?
Chicken is a staple in many diets, and the average American eats 90 pounds annually, according to some studies. Chicken legs make a healthy addition to your diet, providing vitamins and minerals your cells require to function. You just have to make sure to remove the skin and fat from chicken legs before cooking to minimize your saturated fat intake.
Chicken drumsticks contain a moderate number of calories- each one, with the skin removed, provides 106 calories, and 17 gram of protein- a nutrient essential for tissue repair and muscle growth. Chicken legs also contain some fat- 3.7 grams per drumstick- that fat aids in vitamin absorption and provides energy to fuel your lifestyle.
Incorporating chicken drumsticks boosts your mineral intake, providing significant amounts of phosphorus and selenium. Phosphorus helps control enzyme activity, and it makes up a component of your cell membranes and DNA. Selenium also makes up a component of several enzymes in your cells, protects your blood vessels from damage and supports the function of your thyroid gland.
Chicken drumsticks also offer some benefits because of their vitamin content. They contain ample amounts of vitamin B-12, which is essential for nerve cell health and regulation over gene activity.
Ok, it’s time to hit the recipe! This time we’ll go with a simple chicken drumstick recipe.
Pepper Chicken Drumsticks Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 drumsticks
• Eight chicken drumsticks about 2.5 lbs
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• One lemon cut into four to six wedges, for garnish
• Three scallions for garnish
• 2 ½ tsp kosher or sea salt
• 2 ½ tbsp lemon zest or one large lemon
• Four tsp teaspoons of black/red/white pepper medley or freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a cast iron pan over high heat. When the butter starts to turn brown and begins to smoke, add the drumsticks and sear, uncovered, for about one to two minutes, until the skin is nicely browned. After that, flip, and brown them on the other side.
To make sure the drumsticks stay in that position, they need to be supported. To do that, place one drumstick next to the side wall of the pan, and add the rest of them right next to each other after that.
2. When you are done searing, flip one more time and turn the heat down to the lowest position. After that, cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning and flipping every 5 to 7 minutes until the meat at the bone reaches 185-190 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Garnish with chopped lemon wedges and scallions and serve immediately with your favorite side dish.
Use the following guidelines to adjust the lemon pepper seasoning depending on the drumsticks’ weight:
1. Start with one heaping teaspoon of salt (kosher, sea or Himalayan) per pound of drumsticks. That will ensure you don’t over or under-salt it.
2. For every teaspoon of salt use one tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
3. For every teaspoon of salt use two teaspoons of black/red/white pepper medley or freshly ground black pepper.
Chicken drumsticks which are cooked on the stove take half the time it takes to bake them! And don’t let the short list of ingredients fool you- they are tasty and full of flavor. The stovetop chicken drumsticks are perfect for a home cooked, fresh meal on a busy weeknight.
If you are looking to munch on something delicious this weekend, look no further- these drumsticks are finger licking good, and you are going to love these.