Thanks for all the good wishes about my conference - it went really well!
I really love this recipe for chicken drumsticks, because it is both super easy and super delicious - the perfect combination! The chicken basically just goes on a rack in the oven and then is brushed with barbecue sauce when it's part of the way cooked. The drumsticks turned out moist and flavorful, and they were great as leftovers - cold, they tasted like perfect picnic food! The only caveat I have is that this recipe will definitely make your kitchen a little smoky, so be sure to turn on a fan or open a door!
While the chicken was in the oven, I made some greens to go on the side. I love brightening up kale with some acid - lemon juice goes perfectly with the greens here. Onion adds a little sweetness, and overall this was a great side dish that finished up in the same time as the chicken. Feel free to substitute in different greens depending on what you have - I always think it's fun to mix two or three types, so that's another option!
BBQ Chicken Drumsticks and Lemon Kale
Serves 3 (assuming two drumsticks per person)
6 chicken drumsticks
Salt and pepper
1 red onion
3 bunches kale
1/4 cup chicken stock
About 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1. Line a large baking sheet with foil, and then place one or two wire racks on the baking sheet (depending on the size of the racks - you want enough to hold all your chicken without it touching). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash the drumsticks and pat them dry. Place in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the chicken. Arrange the chicken on the wire racks in a single layer, without the pieces touching. Place in the oven and cook 30 minutes.
3. While the chicken is cooking, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until very soft. Turn the heat down if it starts to stick.
4. While the onion is cooking, separate the kale leaves from the stems and tear into bite-sized pieces (keep in mind it will wilt down significantly). Rinse well.
5. Once the onions are softened (10-15 minutes), add the kale to the pot, working in batches if necessary. Cook over medium heat until the kale is wilted and the liquid is mostly evaporated, stirring often. Add the chicken stock and stir well. Place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat down to low. Let the kale cook while the chicken finishes cooking, stirring it occasionally.
6. Once the chicken has been cooking for 30 minutes, remove from the oven. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Brush the chicken generously with barbecue sauce, and then return to the oven. Cook for another 10 minutes.
7. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the oven. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the kale, and stir well to combine. Taste, and add more lemon juice or salt as needed.
8. Serve the kale alongside the chicken drumsticks.