Quickie Low-Carb Recipe: “Porcupine” Chicken Drumsticks

25 Aug

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

This is another quick & yummy weeknight recipe for when you’re low-carbing it and the rest of the family isn’t.

Some of you may recall my “Thyme Out” post a couple of months ago about how tired I was of ten million chicken recipes that all taste like thyme and rosemary.

Today I offer a different flavor-packed, herbed variation on the weeknight chicken dinner theme, this time involving bold cumin seed, a $2 package of drumsticks and less than 5 minutes’ worth of prep time. Pair it with an easy oil & vinegar Caprese salad for a beautifully simple, low-carb dinner that gets you in and out of the kitchen in half an hour. (I did throw some Rice-a-Roni alongside ours to ride shotgun for the carb-addicts in the house.)

(photo courtesy of Amazon)

Gratuitous Chef’s Rant: I know “porcupine” spice rubs generally bring to mind visions of thick slabs of meat coated generously in dried rosemary, but frankly, I never have understood the modern craze with cooking everything in rosemary. And it’s not just meat anymore — it permeates breads, souffles, vegetables — even shortbread cookies are being made over with the nasty stuff in them. If I enjoyed the taste of last year’s dried-up Christmas tree in the back of my mouth, I’d probably save myself the effort and just start swilling gin.

I’m sick of ordering otherwise perfectly good meals out — roasts, omelets, sandwiches, whatever — only to come away from the meal with my head swimming in that nauseating menthol aftershock like I just got done freebasing a clearance-bin Yankee Candle. Thanks, but no thanks, Food Channel–I generally prefer meat that doesn’t taste like I marinated it with Halls Cough Drops. But don’t let that stop you.

Cumin seed.

Getting back to today’s recipe, I’d like to note that cumin seeds can stand in quite nicely for other aforementioned dried herbs and offer a similar textured coating, with the extra bonus that in addition to providing an alternative and fun flavor, they are a bit smaller in size than other whole seasonings and therefore remain stuck onto chicken skin a little better for the long haul. After all, there’s nothing as deflating taking one bite of a beautifully-coated drumstick and watching half of it fall off in scattered crumbs all over your plate.

This is the worst photo ever of lime juice. I know.

Start out by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and arranging about 2 lbs thawed chicken drumsticks onto a greased shallow cookie sheet or casserole dish.

If desired, you can skin the drumsticks to eliminate a little bit of fat, but if you’re low-carbing it, you may not be too worried about the fat. And frankly, it just tastes so good. Mmmm!

Give the drumsticks a good drizzle of lemon or lime juice followed by a generous sprinkling of garlic powder and cayenne pepper to taste.

BBQ-sauce rubdown.

Take about 1/4 cup of low-sugar barbecue sauce (or you can swap it out for some hearty dashes of hot sauce if there is too much sugar in your BBQ sauce to justify using it) and drizzle over chicken legs. Spread marinade around using fingertips or brush.

Nice, crunchy, cumin-seed coating...

Putting about 1-1/2 tablespoons of cumin seed in the palm of one hand and distributing with the pinched fingers of the other, decorate the drumsticks with as much cumin as they can keep on them, until they resemble prickly porcupine backs.

Place in heated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until skin has browned and juices run clear. Serve with individual moist hand wipes as a thoughtful foresight. 🙂

A yummy Caprese salad fills out this quick and easy plate.

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