The season of quick, homey, comforting meals is closing in as the end of summer and beginning of fall loom ahead. The nights are starting to cool off more, and the daily grind of school and/or activities can be overwhelming at times. Making simple meals that are hearty and delicious can become a task rather than a joy, but the good news is that a few ingredients are the only things standing between you and a perfect home-cooked meal.
I’m a dark meat girl through and through because I just can’t drag myself away from how tender and juicy it naturally is. A bonus of the extra fat found in dark meat is that cooking times are a little more lenient - the ability to overcook it requires some extra form of evil genius. A chicken breast can become tough if cooked even a minute too long; a drumstick or chicken thigh is still perfectly cooked.
I love to use a Microplane grater for my garlic so that it really melts into the marinade. If you don’t have any way to finely grate your garlic then a good alternative is to mash it to paste (carefully) with the sides of a chef’s knife and a pinch of salt. I like to let my chicken marinate throughout the day and then pop it in the oven about an hour before dinner, which gives me plenty of time to make the sides, empty the dishwasher, set the table, and maybe even enjoy a glass of wine!
Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
3 pounds chicken drumsticks (about 12-15 total) - 1/4 cup De Nigris balsamic vinegar - 2 tablespoons olive oil - 2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or pasted - 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning - 1 teaspoon salt, divided - 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Place the drumsticks in a large resealable plastic bag.
- Pour the marinade over the drumsticks.
- Remove as much air as possible from the plastic bag and seal.
- Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 6 hours.
- To bake, preheat oven to 425.
- Divide the drumsticks between two large sheet pans lined with foil.
- Place the drumsticks in an even layer on the baking sheet. You will want to keep them from touching to ensure crispy skin.
- Drizzle the marinade on top of the chicken, then sprinkle lightly with the remaining salt.
- Bake at 425 for 45-60 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the skin is crispy and the meat has reached an internal temperature of 160.
- Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.