Friday, March 6, 2015

The New Normal - Hoisin Chicken Drumsticks

Thursday - my second full day of leave.  I miss my office peeps terribly, but it is still a tremendous relief not to have to go to court.  My physical, cognitive, and emotional struggles are real, and the current court environment only exacerbates my symptoms.  Best to recognize that and move along.

In the meantime I am trying to organize my thoughts and prioritize various tasks I included on my list.  I am an inveterate list-maker, and the worst part of coming apart at the seams was losing my ability to pull it all together by making a list.

Right now, I am engaged in a great inner debate regarding what to do with these chicken drumsticks.  My original plan was to roast them after marinating them in a hoisin marinade from my new Chinese Takeout Cookbook.  That recipe is intended for chicken wings, but the idea of meaty drumsticks appealed to me, so here we are.  On the other hand, I've been thinking of smoking them in the oven, using the mesquite oven smoker bag I picked up on sale a few weeks ago.

Okay, I think I see where this is going.  Hoisin Chicken Drumsticks it is.

While they marinate - I had a productive day.  First of all, I made some rules for myself:  Get up and out of bed at a reasonable hour; take medication and vitamins; put in dentures and earrings;  get dressed (it used to drive me nuts that my grandmother-who-raised-me always wore a housecoat.  I promised myself that when I grew up, I would always get dressed during the day).

This may sound petty, but I am trying to maintain some degree of normalcy.  Ha!

I made calls, I made appointments, I made salad, and  the marinade for the aforementioned chicken.   I made a shopping list.  I emailed Terry.  I hung out on Facebook for a while.  Just one more phone call and the dishes, and I am calling it a day.  My energy level is deescalating and I feel the beginning of pain in the back of my head.  Ha ha, left shoulder.  Left arm, pins and needles.  Time for a nap.

And so I slept on the couch with my little girl curled up near my face.  So nice to be able to rest when I need to.

The chicken is finished, and it is good.  Tasty, but a trifle spicy, which makes sense since this recipe is  really designed for wings.  Next time I would cut the cayenne pepper back to 1/2 teaspoon.

Hoisin Chicken Drumsticks, adapted from The Chinese Takeout Cookbook

4 pounds chicken drumsticks

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup hoisin sauce (I use Kikkoman brand)
1/4 cup white rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

white sesame seeds (optional)

Place the drumsticks into a 9 by 13 aluminum baking pan. Whisk together all remaining ingredients, excluding the sesame seeds.  Pour over the drumsticks, turning them to coat with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Uncover the chicken and place in the oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and using tongs, carefully turn each drumstick, spooning the marinade over each one.  Return the pan to the oven for an additional 20 minutes; remove and sprinkle on the sesame seeds.  Return to the oven for a final 15 minutes until the chicken is well-browned.  If you like, you can finish it under the broiler after basting one more time with the marinade.

This has a very slight sweetness from the hoisin, but is in no way a sweet sauce.  I think I would like to serve it with a nice fried rice, maybe even a pineapple fried rice.

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