314: Peanut-Baked Chicken
I had a package of drumsticks I wanted to cook, so I looked around for a recipe and settled on Peanut-Baked Chicken. The recipe looked pretty straight-forward. I had 2.5 pounds of drumsticks, so I omitted the chicken thighs but made the full batch of marinade.
I heated the peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice and zest, and honey in the microwave, and poured it over the chicken, coating it well, in a zipper bag. My chicken was still a little frozen, so I let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes to marinate, rather than putting it back in the fridge. While the chicken marinated, I ground together peanuts (although I didn’t have the honey-roasted ones the recipe called for), panko (Japanese bread crumbs, which was all I had), salt, and red pepper. Although the recipe said to dump all the coating into a bag, put all the chicken in it, and shake it together all at once, I thought it might be more effective to do it a couple of drumsticks at a time. Unfortunately, this meant that I went through all the coating on half of the chicken and had to make some more. The chicken was thoroughly coated, though, with all the extra coating.
I baked this in a 375F oven for 40 minutes. I thought that the chicken might still be a little too cold, so I baked it 5 minutes longer than the recipe said to. I even used a meat thermometer to test the temperature of one of the legs, and it said it had reached 170F, so I took it out then.
I have mixed reviews for this one. It smelled and tasted great. I liked the saltiness of the marinade and the flavor of the breading, although I thought the breading was a little salty. Unfortunately, not all of my chicken was done, so I couldn’t actually eat very much of it. It was also difficult for me to eat because I didn’t remove the skin before I made these, and it was still very chewy.
I liked the flavors in this recipe, but I’m not a fan of how it turned out for me when I made it. I’d give this another shot, but I’m not sure I’d use drumsticks; I’d probably use something meatier, like chicken thighs, or boneless chicken. If I used bone-in chicken, I’d remove the skin to let the marinade soak into the meat better; removing the skin would also work better for the breading, since it sticks to the peanut butter mixture. I liked the amount of breading I had on this, so I might keep the doubled quantity (or at least make 1.5 times the recipe), but I’d probably reduce the salt by half.