Lots of people (me included) have very few ideas about what they can do with chicken beyond a breast or an entire chicken for a roast dinner. Recently however I have seen one or two other sides to how you can use chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks to make a fantastic healthy meal. Or just a a fantastic meal. To make it healthier I tend to de-skin the chicken, yes I know it can be the best part but that’s where all the fat is, so remove that and it is like 0 calories (I wish).
Visiting my mums house this week she had a brilliant idea, having no breast in and only chicken drumsticks she decided to butcher the drumsticks to get their meat off them. She then used the meat in a curry (jalfrezi) and to give her her due, the chicken did taste nicer than breast, perhaps in part because of its butchered nature but the flavour had taken to it. Drumsticks tend to be a cheaper cut than breast as is thigh so if you can think of something to do with it then it can be a good financial substitution.
I am currently in love with the hairy bikers cookbook, full of dishes that are full of flavour. At this very minute I am mid way through cooking their spanish-style chicken : http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/535184/hairy-biker-s-spanish-style-chicken-bake . My mum originally made me this, and I said eugh… that does not look very nice (or words to that effect) but once it was out the oven it smelled delicious and looked fabulous. I am not one for lots of roast foods like onion, or carrot or even garlic but after this I am now finding myself craving it, hence cooking it now.
So here is a list of things that you can do with chicken drumsticks and thighs.
1. The hairy bikers Spanish style chicken bake : http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/535184/hairy-biker-s-spanish-style-chicken-bake , truly worth a try even if you, like me, are not convinced by merely reading it, these guys know what they are talking about when it comes to flavoursome food.
2. Butcher a chicken to get the meat off of it, and use as a substitute for chicken breast. For example in a curry.
3. Sticky chicken drumsticks (like spare ribs, but use drumsticks instead)
4. Bake them and have them on their own (or season them with spanic)
5. Bread them and turn them into a similar thing as what you might get at a nice chicken place. If you bake them then they become even healthier rather than deep frying them as some places might: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/breaded_and_baked_chicken_drumsticks/
6. Make Chicken Kebabs, skewer them and put them on a BBQ or make in the oven, a grill, anywhere really
7. In a sandwich, thighs can be de-boned, cooked and put in a lovely piece of bread, although a wrap would work well with a butchered breast.
8. With pasta, perhaps after butchering all the meat off the bone cooking it in a sauce of your choice (creamy or tomato) then serving it on pasta would be ideal.
9. An accompaniment to couscous, or a salad.
10. As finger food at a buffet (perhaps a children’s party).
13. Chicken fried rice
14. Use the leftovers once you’ve de-boned the chicken and make chicken stock, with this you can use the liquid to make rice, risotto or pasta but you can also turn turn it into chicken soup. A secondary use of the leftovers is making chicken soup, something that is a lot harder to do with breast.
15. Chicken meatballs, an unconventional version of the dish but as we all know chicken is a healthier meat, and you could like it. You could also use the chicken to make stuffing, the lovely, lovely dish.
I hope this has been helpful. I imagine that there are lots of other things you can do with chicken but I am failing to think of one that does not involve food.