Braised chicken drumsticks with smoked paprika and green olives
We made it! Today is the twelfth day of Christmas, and while my sister stuck an elbow in my ribs and shot me a meaningful glance when the priest at Christmas mass mentioned the full 40 days of Christmas (through the presentation of Jesus in the temple… but you knew that), I think we’ll settle for 12. Besides, we’re out of lyrics–no one sings about the 13 elephants-a-trumpeting.
Now that I have officially eaten, drunk, and stuffed my face (like eating, but less dignified) through the entire traditional carol, it’s time to work my way through the leftovers. PS–anyone in Cambridge want some caramels? They’re yummy! I’m not gonna lie, I may also need naptime. I’ve never held myself to such a strict schedule, much less published this much. Given that it took me the first six months of this year to hit 12 posts, this 12-day series marked a big step up for me. It was a lot of work, to be sure, but I’ve also had a blast with these recipes! Aside from enjoying the wordplay, I loved playing within the confines of each day’s lyrics–the challenge of coming up with something cleverly related but also interesting and a recipe I actually wanted to make proved very inspirational. Thanks for coming along for the ride, and I hope you celebrate the twelfth day of Christmas with something delicious!
To take us home, we’ve got an enticingly hands-off recipe for Spanish-inspired chicken drumsticks. Full of smoked paprika and olive flavor, gorgeously red, and cooked in their own sauce for tender meat and one-pot simplicity, these drumsticks finish off the season in style. A quick sear browns the chicken skin, then douse the drumsticks with stock, wine, and lots of smoked paprika and walk away. When the chicken is done, just uncover the pan and reduce the cooking liquid for an easy sauce.
Science tidbit: meat cooked in liquid loses the appetizing crust that we love because it never strays about 212 degrees F, the boiling point of water. Start the chicken with a couple minutes of fierce, direct heat to develop color and flavor before adding the flavorful braising liquid for the best of both worlds.
- 2 T. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. green olives, chopped, plus extra for serving
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 1 c. chicken stock
- 1 c. white wine
- 1 T. smoked paprika
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan with a lid. Saute the garlic until fragrant, then add the chopped olives and drumsticks. Cook until the chicken skin is browned, about 3 minutes, then turn to brown the other side.
- Add the stock, wine, and paprika, cover, and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Check the chicken to make sure it has reached at least 160 degrees. Uncover the pan, increase heat to high, and reduce the sauce to about ½ of its total volume. It will still be relatively thin but will coat the chicken nicely. Add the extra olives to warm. Serve, spooning sauce over each portion.
Recipe adapted vaguely from Food & Wine.