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Garlic Basil Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks are one of my family’s favorite dinners. They’re easy to make and very inexpensive, making them one of my go to dinner ideas. Especially when it’s already Sunday afternoon and I haven’t even given dinner a thought. Usually we’re finishing up our grocery shopping, walking to the checkout, and one of my kids asks what’s for dinner. Of course that’s usually followed by telling me that they’re hungry.

Garlic Basil Chicken DrumsticksThe Garlic Basil Chicken Drumsticks have a marinade made of coconut oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and of course, fresh basil leaves. The longer the drumsticks can soak in the marinade the better. Overnight would be ideal, but for me sometimes I can only marinate the chicken for two hours; sometimes even less. It is nice though, when I’m able to plan ahead and let drumsticks (or any other meat) marinate overnight.

Cooking these drumsticks on the grill is ideal, but they can also be roasted in the oven. To do this I would use a roasting pan with a grate in the bottom so the drumsticks don’t have to sit in a puddle of fat. I would just roast them uncovered, in a 400F oven for about fifty minutes, until the internal temperature is 165F.

Garlic Basil Chicken DrumsticksThe first thing I did to make the marinade was melt some coconut oil in a saucepan, three tablespoons to be exact. If you don’t have coconut oil, butter will also work. I pressed three garlic cloves into the coconut oil then added a little salt, pepper, and the juice from one lemon. Next I cut a dozen small basil leaves from my plant on my windowsill and finely chopped them into small pieces. Finally, I coated the chicken.

A shallow baking dish will work to marinate the chicken. Pour the marinade on top, then toss and evenly coat the drumsticks. Refrigerate for at least two hours, up to twenty-four.

When my chicken was about done marinating I preheated my grill and cleaned the grates really well. I set the heat to medium flame (about 400F), then oiled the grates with olive oil.

Garlic Basil Chicken DrumsticksI arranged the chicken in the center of the grill, closed the lid and let it cook, flipping the drumsticks and rotating them about every five to ten minutes. Cooking time will always vary, but I ended up cooking mine for about thirty to forty minutes. The important thing is that the chicken is fully cooked with an internal temperature of 165F. Very rarely will every piece of chicken reach 165F at the same time, so as soon as the chicken reached that temperature I set it aside on a cooler part of the grill until the rest were done.

For really juicy chicken it’s ideal to let the meat rest for at least five minutes before serving. I can’t say that I always do that though. Sometimes it takes at least five minutes to get the entire family at the kitchen table. Then other times they’re already sitting at the table ready to eat.

I talk about using a thermometer to check the doneness of chicken breast, but I also use it when cooking pork, beef, or any other meat. I even use it when I’m roasting a turkey on Christmas. This is the thermometer I use and I’m really happy with it. I’ve used thermometers for years and I like the digital display much more than a dial with the tiny little lines.

I always had a hard time looking at the little lines, and by the time I was able to read it the temperature changed. Another thing I like about this thermometer is that there is a hold button, so I can press that button then pull the thermometer out to look at it without the reading changing. This thermometer is worth the small investment.

Adapted from Savory Lotus


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About Chef

James Cutler

Hello, my name is Jim Cutler. I love to cook and bake. I also like cake decorating and have taken some classes for it. I am not ...