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Need to impress at a work potluck: ideas for chicken drumsticks?

I'm participating in my first work potluck at my new job..I love to cook and need to make a chicken dish that will knock the socks off my co-workers :-) I bought a huge pack of chicken drunsticks at Costco yesterday that I plan on using.

Originally I was going to do Chicken Marbella and a side of orzo with roasted veggies. I think i'm leaning towards doing something different based upon the other dishes that people are bringing such as rice and beans. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions as well as some great recipes? It's this Thursday so I'd like to get the marinade started if needed. Thank you!!!

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  1. Two ideas come to mind: Jerk chicken with mango salsa or Chicken mole Poblano. I don't know that a side is necessary for the potluck given that others are bringing side dishes.

    1. Marinate overnight in:

      Soy sauce - the main ingredient. The other three just add to it.
      Honey or sugar
      Cayenne powder or hot sauce

      You have the hot, sweet, sour and salty tastes here
      Leave skins on drumsticks so they can self baste though they may need to be basted some more with left over marinade
      Bake in oven

      Just bring the drumsticks....that's enough work

      1. Might take longer but you can debone them, stuff them, wrap in pancetta, sear then roast. Serve with your orzo.

        1. Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks with Spicy Dips

          24 Chicken drumsticks
          2 cups barbeque sauce (I use KC Masterpiece)

          Grill over drip pan opposite coals for at least 7 minutes and turn, baste with barbecue sauce until chicken is done ~~ 6 to 10 more minutes

          Serve hot or cold with horseradish and mustard dips.

          Hot Horseradish Dip

          1 16 oz carton sour cream
          2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
          ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

          Mustard Dip
          1 16 oz carton sour cream
          ¼ cup Dijon Mustard
          ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
          2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

          Stir together ingredients for Hot Horseradish Dip; cover and store in refrigerator until serving. Repeat with ingredients for Mustard Dip.

          1. Off the top of my head, here's one I adapted from the La Varenne cooking school in France.

            Flambeed chicken:

            Keeping the skins on, sautee the chicken pieces in olive oil, in batches, on all sides till browned. Set aside chicken. In same pan toss in two heads of garlic separated into cloves, unpeeled. Move around for a couple of minutes till aromatic. Return chicken to pan. Add 1/2 cup brandy, and, KEEPING YOUR FACE WELL BACK FROM THE PAN, set a lighted match to the edge of the pan. Be ready for a burst of flames. When the flames have died down (you may have to extinguish them with a lid), add a can or two of diced tomatoes (the tomatoes should not quite cover the chicken). Add salt and pepper and herbs de provence. Cook partially covered till the chicken is tender; turn chicken pieces after about 30 minutes. When tender, remove the chicken from the pan. Pass the solids through a sieve into a clean pan, pressing down on the solids, so that the garlic gets squished into the sauce. Scrape the bottom of the sieve into the pan. Discard the contents of the sieve. Add whipping cream to the pan and boil down to sauce consistency. Add the chicken to the sauce to warm through. Serve with mashed potato.

            The house smells really wonderful while you are doing this. I love the voluptuous taste and texture of the sauce.

            4 Replies
            1. re: souschef

              Is there a particular herbs I can use for this? Does this recipe good enough for at least 3/4kg of chicken? About how many whipping cream should I use for this? Sorry for the questions. =D

              1. re: Dark Wanderer

                Use herbes de provence, or if you can't get them use thyme and rosemary. Sure you can use it for 3/4 kg of chicken. Start with 1/2 cup whipping cream, then add more to bring the sauce to the consistence you want (enough to coat the chicken pieces).

                1. re: souschef

                  Can I use all-purpose cream instead of whipping cream? What if I use tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes since I will use a sieve later on? I really want to try this dish, sorry again for the questions.

                  1. re: Dark Wanderer

                    Sorry for the delay in replying. Table cream tends to separate under high heat, so no, you can't use it. Besides, if you are going to use cream you might as well go whole hog.

                    I have no idea how tomato sauce would work out; it would go right through the sieve. There are no wrong approaches here, so try it. I would perhaps leave out the cream if you use tomato sauce. But then it becomes a totally different recipe, which is fine. Just don't forget to scrape the garlic from the underneath of the sieve and add it to the sauce.

            2. Maybe you should cut back a little for this first effort and scope things out. It is a potluck, with other employees bringing various components for the meal. If you bring an entree complete with sides, well, it may seem overly ambitious (and taking over). Maybe try to dazzle with less, not more.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Sarah

                thanks for alll the replies- great ideas. well so far there's 10 people that are participating but only one other person is bringing food- rice and beans. another person is bringing cake n thats all so far.... not sure that people are actually looking forward to dong this...

                1. re: liveloveat34

                  My all time favorite is Demon Drumsticks (love the name,too) from epicurious.com. They're simple, amazingly delicious, good hot, cold, room temp. I have made them with homemade bread crumbs, store bought bread crumbs, panko - all good. Clearly, a versatile dish!


                  1. re: janeh

                    OMG! Thanks for sharing JaneH! That sounds delicious! That's in my to do very, very soon!

                  2. re: liveloveat34

                    All the more reason to proceed prudently* and not do it up too much. You may cause resentment and/or guilt, not good in any work situation. Unless you're angling for a top cooking position, there's really no need to knock any socks off anyone at this point. A platter of delicious drumsticks will be enough to please most if not all!
                    *hate this word - dana carvey made me do it

                    1. re: Sarah

                      yeah i'm only going to bring the drumsticks- i know my co-workers and they wouldnt mind if i brought more than that, but i understand what you are saying. thanks for the input

                2. arroz con pollo would be homey, accessible and delicious for a potluck.


                  i also love jungmann's jerk chicken suggestion.

                  i agree with folks who've said that it's better to wow in an understated way unless you're angling for top chef. :)

                  1. Korean Dakdoritang is a knock out spicy chicken stew and you can just throw in the drumsticks whole. My son and Korean daughter-in-law made it this Sat. night for a crowd and used 2 whole heads of garlic! Whew, wicked good. Google a recipe or let me know if interested and I'll post one.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      Can you please post your recipe?? I'm actually korean, so that might be fitting haha. I would love to make this and it's tomorrow!

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        I want to hear this recipe as well.

                        1. re: fallingup

                          I know this is an old post, but I was doing some research and came across it and the mention of the Korean dish above. Google found the following:


                          1. re: THoey1963

                            I love this dish! I've never tried making it in the Crock Pot before, but I think I will do that soon. The Crock Pot will also make it easy to take to work and serve. Maybe you can buy some kim chee to go with it. Rice will also be great with it. My only concern would be whether your co-workers like spicy food.

                      2. Everyone loves fried chicken, and it's not intimidating (to the crowd) in the least bit...and if you turn it into a non-fried, healthier version it's even better. I like to soak drumsticks overnight in buttermilk and hot sauce (nearly a cup of hot sauce to a quart of buttermilk) and cayenne pepper (the results are not as spicy as you would think). In the morning I season some breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, thyme and parmesan and dredge the drumsticks, usually for this step I toss them in a bag to ensure even coating and keep things simple and a little less messy. Sometimes I make the breadcrumbs myself, sometimes I don't. Then I put them on a wax paper lined baking sheet in a HOT oven until they're golden brown and crispy (I want to say 45 minutes or so? If I'm not sure, I pierce one with a sharp knife to see if the juices run clear.) I've brought these to many a potluck and picnic, and they're always popular, good warm or cold, and not fussy in the least bit. You could make a quick potato salad to go with it, or a quick coleslaw. I never ruffle any feathers bringing health conscious comfort food like this.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ballulah

                          For this recipe to work, ballulah, are the drumsticks skinless or skin-on?

                          1. re: 4Snisl

                            Either way would work, but I've always made them skin on because they are juicier.

                        2. This recipe for Lacquered Duck Legs sounds great and I'm sure you could substiture chicken drum sticks. Marinade drumsticks in refrigerator for 3 days.

                          Marinade drumsticks in a mixture of:

                          2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
                          1 head (not clove) of garlic, finely chopped
                          1 cup soy sauce
                          3 cups water
                          4 T dried tarragon
                          4 T coriander seeds, toasted
                          1/2 cup corn syrup
                          1/2 cup red wine vinegar

                          After marinating for 3 days, drain and roast for an hour at 275 F. Then increase heat to 325 F for 30 minutes and then increase to 375 F for another 30 minutes.

                          1. This recipe is really simple but comes out amazingly tender and delicious.

                            chili and honey chicken legs

                            1. You can substitute drumsticks for the wings. This recipe is super easy and always a rave at cocktail parties.

                              Mahogany Wings

                               3/4 cup Chinese plum sauce
                              1/2 cup   Chinese hoisin sauce
                              1/2 cup   soy sauce (or a low sodium version if preferred)
                              1/3 cup   apple cider vinegar 
                              1/4 cup   dry sherry
                              1/4 cup   honey
                              5   scallions, green and white parts, finely minced
                              6   garlic cloves, finely minced
                              30   chicken wings; small wing joint removed

                                1. In a large bowl, combine the plum sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sherry, honey, scallions, and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture for basting in a separate small bowl.

                              2. Add the chicken wings to the large bowl, stir to coat, and place, covered, in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight.

                              3. Place the wings in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Place them in a preheated 350° F (175°C) oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until crisp and brown. Baste every 10 minutes during cooking, and about 5 minutes before removing the wings from the oven.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: HillJ

                                I'm also cooking drumsticks for a picnic this weekend, normally I'd smoke boneless, skinless thighs, but the drumsticks are much more economical, & I'm expecting lots of kids. I'll be doing a Thai lemongrass marinade (from SheSimmers), & grilling them.

                                1. re: thistle5

                                  Oh I really like lemongrass, thistle. What's in the marinade besides it?

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    2 stalks lemongrass, 5 cloves garlic, 2tsp cilantro roots or stems, 2 tbsp. oyster sauce, 2 tbsp. fish sauce, 3 tbsp. palm sugar or 2 tbsp. brown sugar (I've been using the Splenda brown sugar blend in my BBQ sauce)-this looks like an awesome marinade, & SheSimmers has given me so much inspiration- Thai food is my favorite, & I think this chicken will be irresistible....

                                    1. re: thistle5

                                      Oh I'm copying that down, thistle5. I've never used Splenda but I always have brown sugar on tap..do I need to adjust the measurement? I love Thai too! txs a lot!

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        I don't think you need to adjust, the recipe calls for 2 tbsp. brown sugar...I just use the brown sugar blend, measure for measure...

                                  2. re: thistle5

                                    Thank you for reawakening this old thread. I've been looking for the demon drumstick recipe up above forever and I forgot which thread it was on.

                                2. Oven-roasted tandoori-marinated chicken. A simple raita would be delicious with it.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: letsindulge

                                    Moroccan chicken with olives and preserved lemon served in a pretty tagine - recipe usually calls for chicken thighs but drumsticks will work. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/...

                                  2. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/898171

                                    This is one of the best chicken recipes I (and others) have ever made. You could easily do all wings. And if the heat is too much, you can reduce it. You can see how linguafood reheats.
                                    ETA: All LEGS!!!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      When we made that recipe we also made the fried rice recipe (NYT link) because we had top quality Shaoxing wine and didn't have any idea how to truly enjoy it. Delicious results. I have to make it again.

                                      We make Mahogany Wings (recipe above) quite often and this turned out to be another variation.

                                    2. This isn't much of a "recipe" but McCormick's Garlic & Herb Buffalo Wing mix is fantastic, you could easily use it on drumsticks instead.


                                      Toss them with a little bit of oil then the spice mix, and place the chicken on a wire rack (important) making sure there is a reasonable amount of space between each piece.

                                      They'll cook to a crispy skin that will hold up well sitting out. If you want, you could melt some butter and garlic salt just before serving and brush it over them too.

                                      Apricot Glazed Wings are also good:


                                      1. When I make legs (rarely), I tend to french them into lollipops with whatever it is that I'm doing. Just makes it look better and sound better: you're not serving chicken legs; you're serving chicken lollipops!

                                          1. re: laliz

                                            laliz, I have to smile...drummies? the CH's with the cutesy word aversion are having a field day right now. even delicious food doesn't get a free pass :)

                                          2. I love a recipe I adapted for Deviled Drumsticks:

                                            These are terrific hot, room temperature, or cold.

                                            12 chicken drumsticks, about 3 pounds total
                                            1/2 cup Dijon mustard
                                            3/4 cup panko
                                            (Whole Foods has mustard-flavored panko that works well here)
                                            3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
                                            1 teaspoon cayenne
                                            3 tablespoons butter, melted

                                            Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pat the chicken dry, then toss with the mustard until evenly coated.

                                            Stir together the panko, cheese, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Drizzle with the butter and toss.

                                            Dredge each drumstick in the crumb mixture to coat, then arrange, without crowding, on a buttered large jelly roll pan. Roast until the chicken is browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

                                            Yield: 4-6 servings

                                            1. Please spare the orzo. How does anyone eat that slimy stuff when there's Basmati rice?

                                              1. Thank you SallyMcP! I hate orzo... not even for the taste. Just... why? Either use rice, or if you're going the pasta route really go for it and go with something bigger and yummier!!