March 5th, 2011
It’s no Wursterie, I know, but the above image represents what would soon become a work of art. Welcome back to Waste Not, Eat Lots!
Volume VI: Drummersticks
I play drums in a band. We don’t have a rehearsal space or anything, so our practices are always held at my house. Sometimes I feel guilty about making the guys come out to my place all the time, but it makes sense because I’ve got the big unwieldy drum kit. Still, I like to make it worth everyone’s while by making food when they come over. As a guy who usually shops for one, feeding a hungry punk rock band can sometimes be a challenge — that’s why I usually rely on mass productions like chili and spaghetti to feed the ruckus. But this past week I was down to nothing save for a giant package of chicken drumsticks that had been in my freezer since August…
Any kitchen that’s been used to prepare a reasonable amount of meals will have plenty of ingredients sitting around to put together a tantalizing chicken dish; it all comes down to the cook’s ability to throw caution to the wind, and to throw anything that’s not expired into a casserole. Here’s what I did but please — as is protocol around here — substitute, add, or omit as necessary.
chicken (I used drumsticks but feel free to use your favorite part)
barbecue sauce (1 tablespoon per piece of chicken)
1 bottle of beer (I used Miller High Life)
chicken broth (about 1 cup)
steak seasoning (powdered)
salt and pepper
“Italian Seasoning Mix” (oregano, thyme, etc… same stuff that I always use)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a casserole and place the chicken inside. Pour some more olive oil on top, and then pour all of the other viscous ingredients into the dish. Shake all the shakey-type ingredients liberally over the top (but be a bit more conservative with the cinnamon). When the oven’s ready, place the dish on a middle rack and leave it alone for about an hour. Come back and flip the chicken over and shake the shakey stuff again. Continue cooking for about 30 more minutes.
If you’ve got a few more songs to finish, you can put it back in the oven and lower the temperature to keep it warm, but it might continue cooking a bit and end up looking burned. A happy accident — have you ever gone to a restaurant and seen “blackened chicken” or something like that? Essentially the barbecue sauce and olive oil and skin are sort of crispy and almost charred on the surface but the inside stays juicy and flavorful. Each bite is like digging through Earth’s savory crust into its delicious molten center. This is why you cook it in liquid — you’ll never have to worry about overcooking and drying out the chicken. This way, too, you can be eating 6-month-old meat and not be too concerned with vomiting later because you’ve really given it a thorough heating. (PLEASE only eat meat this old if it’s been in the freezer the entire time!)
Proof that this was eaten during band practice: box of ear plugs and a Soundgarden CD. It was really quite an excellent meal, and there were two drumsticks left which I plan to de-bone and eat in a quesadilla for dinner tonight. (Quick and easy guacamole: squeeze a whole lemon’s worth of juice into a bowl and mix it around with salt and an avocado.) The cinnamon was an unexpected hit; don’t go overboard though as it will quickly dominate the flavors. As a subtle addition, it added some sophistication to the scene of five guys tearing flesh from bone with their hands and teeth. Keep a roll of paper towels handy.