Sunday, 25 September 2011

Bang Your Own Drum!

Cosce di Pollo al Rosmarino e Zenzero
Chicken Drumsticks with Rosemary and Ginger

And again, I set out to reinvent and reinterpret some everyday product and to turn it into something delicious and tasty... that's what I do! Or at least it is what I try to do! I think it is a shame when people, in their striving to become more aware of what they eat, go beyond the point of simply becoming "foodies" and instead become "food snobs". Oh it is a wonderful thing to go out there and buy exclusive and wonderful produce and it is noble to insist on it being organically or locally grown. But it is more valuable to be able to work with what you have and to transform it into something special... even something as ordinary as a chicken drumstick!

They may be out of fashion and considered rather passé "party snacks", but the drumstick is good and juicy meat on the bone- which is basically always a guarantee for great flavor. So I decided to capitalize on that and knock the flavor up a couple of notches- and it really wasn't hard to do at all!


First of all, I made  some small cuts into the meat, with a small paring knife, and inserted small sprigs of rosemary- these will ensure that we get good flavors deep into the drumsticks. I then put them into a dry Teflon pan and turned on the heat... they will soon be sizzling away in the fat of their own skin- so there is no need for any added fat. Season with salt and pepper and keep turning, so that the chicken browns evenly from all sides.

In the meantime, chop some garlic finely and cut some fresh ginger into fine strips. Sprinkle these seasonings onto the chicken and continue to fry until they start to brown- and then de-glaze the pan with a little orange juice. This may seem counter- productive, but fear not- that juice will evaporate away in no time and the chicken will continue browning. The thing is, that the juice and the fat from the chicken will combine and create a wonderful, flavorful glaze. By adding the juice, the ginger and rosemary flavors will combine and intensify and in turn, cook into the meat. It's all easy stuff we are doing here!

I repeated this procedure 3-4 times until the chicken was done- it is similar to making a risotto in terms of adding liquid, letting it cook down to nothing and repeating it- but it reduces the flavors down and they become more intense as you go along- it's great! Season lightly with soy sauce as you go along- but you really only need a few drops. You can also add chili or Tabasco to up the wattage if you so wish- but that is completely a matter of taste. You will see juices oozing out from the thick end of the drumstick- they need to be clear before you know they are done- but it is worth the wait! After around 30-40 minutes, you will be rewarded with juicy, sticky, delicious and golden chicken that is packed with flavor. Perfect with a fresh salad, some Asian noodles, or sure- fries... why not? Any way you like them- enjoy them! After all- you just made them for yourself!

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