Oven-baked and gluten-free, it’s a great substitute for fried chicken, with an Italian twist. (Of course.)
Skinless chicken drumsticks are dipped in melted butter, then rolled in a mound of freshly grated Parmesan cheese that’s been seasoned with garlic powder and paprika. (Among a few changes I made to the original recipe, I had to add garlic powder. It makes this dish.)
The drumsticks are baked on a foil-lined, rimmed sheet pan for an hour.
And then…Then they will emerge from the oven, a bit crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and resting in a pool of mouth-watering garlic butter that we love to soak up with fresh, Italian-sliced bread. Bits of crispy Parmesan dotting the pan provide the perfect salty accent.
To say I serve this “family style” would be too refined. Maybe “Flintstones style” is more appropriate.
We start out very civilized, with a drumstick or two on our plates, and forks and knives that are optional. Meanwhile, the baking pan is at one end of the table, beckoning to us with its garlic butter goodness.
Each of us eats with one eyeball monitoring (or guarding) the pan. You don’t want to be the last one to get to The Pan.
Then, it’s time to grab a slice of bread, reach over rudely and dip into The Pan. This is immediately followed by protests.
“Hey! You’re hogging all of the garlic butter. Save some for everyone else!”
“I’m not hogging it!”
And that’s just the adults.
Then, anyone sitting too far away must get up and walk around the table, carrying bread slices, to elbow in and get a spot at the trough — I mean The Pan. It’s important to dip as fast as you can while keeping your eyes peeled for competition.
Eventually, someone, preferably a responsible adult, must referee the process to ensure that everyone has gotten a decent amount of garlic butter action. And here’s my secret: this is one pan you should volunteer to wash. When you lift up the foil, more goodness awaits.
In case anyone is wondering, I did make this once with chicken breasts, for a dinner party. They tasted good.
The entire time though, I longed for The Pan. (It was sitting in the kitchen with all of the uncivilized clutter as we ate in the dining room, with napkins on our laps.)
It wasn’t the same.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Leanne Ely, Saving Dinner
P.S. If you like this recipe, you’ve got to try my Lemon Parmesan Cod with Garlic Butter! Even people who don’t like fish love it!