The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Oven Roasted Drumsticks and ThighsFirst things first.
If you came here wanting something more than a cheap, quick and easy meal, go to "Hunter Angler Gardener Cook" where resident chef Hank Shaw, really knows his cooking. I'm almost embarrassed to post stuff like this...
I'm of the "where there's fire, there can be cooking," school of thought; where there is little preparation and the fixings are limited to the salt, pepper, garlic, and hot sauce in my rucksack.
This is one of my favorite things to make. It requires minimum preparation, and no participation once the oven starts. But it sure comes out tasting pretty darned good! So lets dive right into one of my favorite brown bag lunches: Drumsticks and thighs!
I have the Mrs. buy me the five pound bag of chicken thighs and drumsticks at the market. Here abouts a five pound bag is only $5.00 to $5.50. Normally they're pretty cheap compared to the boneless skinless stuff in the case. They are nowhere near as good as the home-grown or organic chickens, but you can't beat the price. It's an economical meal; the chicken is inexpensive, the spices are pennies and the oven time is about 90 minutes. But it's lunch for a week!
Preparation is rudimentary. Cut the package open, rinse the pieces off, and set them in the pan. 90 minutes later, they are cooked through and through.
The most "Complicated" or "Labor Intensive" portion is the mashing of the garlic. You need lots of it if you intend to keep the mosquitoes, gnats, leeches, and vampires away. I use about half a head of garlic for five pounds of chicken. There is no hard and fast rules here by the way. You can do this just about anyway you like, as long as it is cooked through and through.
(NOTE: See the comments where Chef Hank Shaw, ummm, makes a suggestion or two!
It would seem that I'm a blasphemer...)
It would seem that I'm a blasphemer...)
In a mortar, (For you guys with the Tactical bunch, I'm talking about the kitchen implement not the indirect fire weapon.) put about a teaspoon of salt, enough olive oil to satisfy your penchant for it, and the pieces of garlic you thoughtfully cut up previously on the cutting board.
Take pestle in hand and start crushing and grinding the garlic. Notice how the salt helps to keep the garlic from slipping and sliding around!
When the garlic mash starts to get a little too thick for you to see whats going on, splash a little inexpensive white wine on it. Go back to liquefying that garlic. If you own one of those little food processor things this might be a good thing to use it on. I don't know that I would, being that I like to minimize the amount of utensils I dirty, but this really is the longest part of the operation!
Get a pan out, and lay the chicken in such a fashion that the majority of it is not covered by another piece. When they are all nice and even, splash a bit of that white wine all over them.
Go to your garlic mush and spread it out nicely all over your chicken pieces, paying special attention to those spots that you first sink your teeth in.
Now finish by adding a little salt, pepper, paprika, or anything else that you feel I have missed! Like I said, no hard and fast rules here!
Now what I do is set the oven to 350 and set the timer for an hour, and slide the pan full of chicken right into its warm embrace
When the hour alarm buzzes, grab a ladle or long spoon, and carefully baste the chicken, making sure you cover all of it. Rotate the pan 180 degrees so you are certain of good heat coverage. Set the alarm for thirty more minutes.
Check again at the end of thirty minutes and see if your chicken is done, if not give it another five to ten minutes.
When you are satisfied that it is done, pull the whole pan out of the oven. Get a large bowl ready. Using tongs (Remember they are hot!) pick up all the chicken and put it in the bowl. The grease and liquid that's left will go into another smaller bowl. Let the chicken cool for fifteen-twenty minutes, cover with foil, and put away in the fridge. The chicken fat and gelatin will have cooled some too so cover it and set it in the fridge.
You can feed the fat to your cat or dog, but save the gelatin for soups, omelets, making rice, gravy, anything that you get a hankering for. One of these days I'm going to try some in a loaf of bread.
Now you have a bunch of delicious drumsticks and thighs that you can eat cold, or heat up and add to any kind of filler material like potatoes, rice, noodles, or even crackers. Its a money saver that's for sure, and it really is a tasty way to prepare them.
Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...