I always say that I don’t like cover songs, cover bands, wedding bands… I don’t like it when restaurants change or remove a beloved item from their menu. I like good things to stay exactly the same, in their original format, most of the time 😉 Although, I guess there has to be exceptions because today I updated an old but really great recipe that I posted in 2012 called Falsi-fried Chicken Drumsticks . If you didn’t deduce this by the name, it’s a recipe for crunchy baked chicken drumsticks that are meant to look and taste fried. It was wildly popular at my house! All the taste and crunch without the guilt. This is a common theme along my posts where I try making healthy meals taste less healthy. For my Falsi-fried Chicken, I simply bread drumsticks in a seasoned breadcrumb mixture, like shake n’ bake, then dab oil onto the chicken pieces with a pastry brush, giving them a nicely fried look and feel without all the oil. Today’s post was a play on that recipe so can I call this a re-boot?! We’re not touching the original, we are simply adding a new recipe to the repertoire. Reboots are ok in my book. In fact, they can be awesome!
Someone somewhere must have mentionned Kentuky Fried Chicken the other day and I thought I’d Google they’re “secret” spice blend and make my Falsi-fried chicken drumsticks using that blend, hoping it would taste a little something like KFC 😉 I don’t know how accurate my findings were but that blend and my updated preparation method certainly kicked these up a notch!
Making chicken skin
Say what? The best part about KFC is the exterior, right? The crispy delicious, artery clogging chicken skin. When cooking for myself any my husband, I go lean, using only skinless drumsticks and I noticed that tossing the chicken in flour, rolling it in egg and dredging it into breadcrumbs creates a chicken skin like coating! EUREKA! And although I like to cook my chicken legs to an internal temperature of 180+, the meat remains moist and delicious on the inside; the coating must create a protective moisture barrier.
Don’t be afraid to season your drumsticks! Some of the salt inevitably comes off when dredging so I salt them before putting them in flour, then I salt them a little after the egg and then I salt them again at the end; hot out of the oven. I find that when you are making chicken especially, it is important to season it thoroughly or it’ll taste bland. This is especially true if you are trying to mimic that fast food flavour.
Active prep time about 20 mins
Inactive about 35 mins
8-10 skinless drumsticks
1 cup of flour
2 eggs thoroughly beaten with a dash of salt
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, preferably Panko crushed a little by hand.
( I used a mixture of Panko and regular Pastene breadcrumbs ’cause that’s what I had on hand and I like the mix of textures)
1/4 cup of neutral tasting vegetable oil
Baking sheet lined with parchment, brushed lightly with oil
KFC Copycat Spice Blend
2 tsp onion powder
1tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp chili
1/2 tsp ground celery or celery salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
Preheat oven to 425F
Prepare the spice blend
Place 1 cup of flour and 5 Tbsp of the spice blend in a resealable bag and toss to mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Prepare your egg and breadcrumb dredging bowls. Set aside.
Rinse and dry drumsticks well
Season drumsticks all over with a sprikling of salt
Place drumsticks in a resealable bag with flour mixture and shake ’em up until fully coated.
One by one, shake off excess flour and roll drumsticks into the egg to coat, letting the excess egg drip off.
Coat fully in bread crumbs and place onto your prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle on some extra spice blend.
Once all of the drumsticks are on the baking sheet, dab all over the tops with neutral vegetable oil using a pastry brush
Bake at 425F for 15 mins. This will ensure a crispy skin.
Lower the temperature to 375F and bake for about 35 mins or until they reach 180F internal temperature. I go a little higher than that and they don’t dry out at all. Place the thermometer sideways into the fleshiest part of the drumstick for an accurate reading.
**No need to turn drumsticks**
Optional: For an extra crunch, raise temp to 400-425F again towards the end of the cooking time. Working quickly, remove drumsticks from the oven, dab a little more oil and add a couple of sprinkles of seasoning and salt. Place them back into the oven for a few more minutes.
Remove, let cool and enjoy. They’re also great cold or at room temperature. They make the perfect midnight snack! Serve with coleslaw and potatoes 😉
BBQ dipping sauce
I prepared a little BBQ dipping sauce using Stubbs Original flavor BBQ sauce, a couple of pinches of the remaining spice blend and a little honey. Adjust ratio to your liking. It was absolutely stupendous with these drumsticks!