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Chicken is easily the most popular meat in the world thanks to its versatility and affordability. It can work well in so many different cuisines and can also be flavored to suit any palette there is. Chicken is also commonly split into parts that all serve different purposes, the chicken breasts are big, meaty, and have no bones in them which makes them great for wrapping in bacon or deep frying. Another piece of chicken is the drumstick, it is similar to a chicken wing but it tends to have more meat on it.

Person holding brown bread with chocolate

What is a Chicken Drumstick?

A chicken drumstick is a cut of chicken that is from just below the knee joint on a chicken’s leg. They are entirely dark meat and are very similar to a drumette which is cut from the wing. They are both almost identical except for their size as a drumstick is considerably larger.

The drumstick is eaten similar to that of a chicken wing as it has a long bone that is used as a handle while the bulbous top is where the majority of the meat is. There is also cartilage and bone in the larger part of the drumstick, but there is still enough meat that you can take bites into it like an apple.

What are Chicken Drumsticks used for?

Drumsticks have bones in them so they cannot be used in some of the ways a chicken breast can be, such as being marinated and eaten in slices. Instead, a drumstick is eaten just like a chicken wing is as it is seasoned, marinated, and can also be covered in a sauce before consumption. Another very popular use for drumsticks is to deep fry them with eggwash, seasonings, and plain flour. This results in a tasty batter which a moist chicken on the inside that is perfect for a more relaxed meal.

Different ways to Cook Chicken

As chicken is so versatile and easy to use, it can be prepared in so many different ways. Each way to cook chicken leaves it with a different texture, taste, or feel. You can get the exact same piece of chicken and cook it in all these different ways and they will all be so different, the multiple cooking methods really shine a light on how easy it is to introduce chicken to different cuisines and dishes.

Grilled Chicken

Grilling chicken is a really good way to get a nice char on the outside of the chicken. This can be done with a cast-iron skillet or on a barbeque and works best on bits of chicken that are mostly the same thickness. High heat is wanted for this method and cook the chicken until it is completely white on the inside.

The char that forms on the chicken will typically have the pattern of your skillet or barbeque on it which tends to be a lined pattern. The char adds a smokey flavor to the chicken and keeps it moist inside which results in a really tasty, easy, and well-cooked piece of chicken ready to slice and place atop a caesar salad or enjoy alongside some rice and seasonings with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Roast Chicken

The main definition for roasting anything is that it is a dry heat that cooks the food. This is heated air in a confined space such as an oven and letting the air cook the food. Chicken is best roasted when it is a full carcass and not cut into separate parts. However, you can still roast the parts of a chicken if you choose to.

Many grocery stores will sell roast kits for chickens that consist of a large oven-safe bag and lots of seasoning. This is helpful for anyone new to roasting chicken as it helps you get used to it without having to worry about flavoring it yourself. The chicken is placed in the bag, alongside the seasonings and anything else you may choose to add, and then placed in a suitable tray before being left in the oven until it is cooked. The directions for all of this will be on the container for the roast kit.

Roasting chicken is a great way to get nice moist white meat on the inside without ruining the skin. The skin will come out crispy and delicious which is great for people who like the skin. The meat can be carved off and served, and will still be moist and delicious.

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken comes in many different styles as it can be southern-fried, Kentucky-fried, pan-fried, or deep-fried. The main premise of fried chicken is that the chicken pieces are coated in seasonings and flour, which eventually turns into a nice coating or crust after the frying has happened.

To get the seasonings to stick to the chicken, it is commonly patted dry with a paper towel and then brushed with olive oil, eggs, or another type of suitable liquid. A lot of people use their hands to do this as they can be more thorough and work into every part of the meat. Once fully covered, the chicken is then laid in seasoning and flour, or seasoned flour if you buy it especially for this, and fully coated.

Once the chicken is coated in your seasonings, you can then fry it in your preferred method. Deep frying is when you heat up a large pot of oil, deep enough to fully submerge the chicken, and let the chicken stay in it. Pan-frying is the same as this but without the oil, the heat from the pan is what cooks the chicken. The timing and heat all depend on the size of your chicken pieces as thicker bits need to be cooked for longer to ensure that they are fully cooked.

Rotisserie Chicken

Often confused with the method of roasting chicken, rotisserie chicken is quite different. While roast chicken is cooked using dry heat, rotisserie chicken needs an open flame. The chicken is placed on a spit and constantly rotated over an open flame or a similar heating element until fully cooked.

Rotisserie chicken is famed for being the best way to cook the skin of the chicken. The skin turns out super crispy and delicious, and even the meat has a different moisture content than if you were to roast it. The rotisserie needed to cook this chicken at home is quite big and also expensive so not many people can have the luxury of making this at home. However, people go out to restaurants and shops specifically for rotisserie chicken so that speaks as to how good it really is. If you get a store-bought rotisserie chicken, it should be eaten quite soon. Be careful not to leave it out in the open for ages as they do not last too long.

What can you Serve with Chicken Drumsticks?

Cooking some chicken drumsticks covered in your favorite seasonings and sauce is always fun and will lead to a great meal. Yet, there is always difficult in knowing what to serve them with. To make it a balanced meal you cannot just serve chicken, there needs to be more. Thankfully, chicken drumsticks pair so nicely with a lot of side dishes.

Potato Salad

A potato salad is a very popular side dish and is made from new potatoes being cut up and mixed with sliced hard-boiled eggs, coleslaw, red onions, and mayonnaise or sour cream. This side dish pairs so nicely with the chicken drumsticks as it not only balances out the meal with its high protein, fiber, and vitamin content, but it also introduces contrasting flavors and textures that the drumsticks do not have.

Baked Beans

Baked beans come in a very umami-rich sauce and are a great way to add more protein and fiber to your meal. They are warm and hearty, and will also be quite filling so that your meal leaves you without wanting more. Baked beans also come in different sauces such as Barbeque baked beans, and pair very nicely with grated sharp cheddar cheese sprinkled on the top.

Pasta Salad

Similar to the potato salad, the pasta salad adds a lot of different flavors and textures to the meal. A pasta salad used a tiny bit of pasta and a lot of vegetables and is best served cold. The pasta is cooked and lightly salted before being tossed with a mixture of vegetables such as bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and any other veggies you desire. They are typically all sliced and chopped somewhat finely so that you can get a bite of each veggie in one go. The salad can be flavored using salad dressing, sour cream, soy sauce, or olive oil.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are incredibly healthy, delicious, and can be prepared in so many different ways. One of the most popular ways is to cut them into sweet potato fries and cook them until they are crispy. While still being full of starch and fiber, sweet potatoes have a much sweeter taste than normal potatoes and also have a lot more nutrition in them such as vitamins. They are a great addition to any meal and pair excellently with chicken as they offer a slightly sweet taste to contrast the meaty umami of the chicken.

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Mashed Potatoes

Well-made creamy mashed potatoes are really difficult to beat. They are full of starch which keeps you energized and also have a lot of fiber in them that makes them healthy and filling, a perfect side dish for any meal. They can easily be flavored with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and other fresh herbs.

Brussels Sprouts

While any greens or salads are going to pair well with chicken drumsticks, brussels sprouts are going to be an especially good pair as they are hearty, filling, and rich in vitamins. They have their own unique flavor but can also be seasoned to make them taste even nicer. They work especially well with citrus flavors and can be cooked with lemon zest to give them a nice hint of citrus.

Brussel sprouts

French Fries

French fries work as well as mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with chicken drumsticks. They are nutritious, filling, and flavorsome. They are also easy to snack on and can be eaten with your hands which pairs well with other hand foods such as chicken drumsticks. French fries can be salted and once cooked until crisp, they soon become an addictive side dish you won’t be able to get enough of.

Green Beans

Green beans, also known as runner beans, are delicious and healthy which makes them a valuable side dish to any meal. They can be sauteed with garlic, sesame seeds, and salt to make a delicious dish that will impress anyone. Green beans have a low prep time and can be made quite quickly which makes them a good last-minute addition to your feast.

FAQs on Chicken Drumsticks

What Sides to Eat with Drumsticks?

The versatility of chicken is great as it means you can pair them with anything. The main point of a side dish is to balance the meal and add any nutrients that the main course does not have. In this case, the chicken drumsticks are full of protein but lack fiber. A nice salad or green veggies will pair nicely with it.