Chicken drumsticks have a delightful shape in many ways. They practically have a built in handle which helps you easily get after all that delicious dark meat. And, being a protruding appendage, drumsticks have nearly full coverage when it comes to skin which can cook to a crackling crust enrobing the meat and keeping it moist. You had to see a "but" coming, and you probably already know what we're referring to. That cudgel-like, uneven shape is a real nuisance when it comes to cooking chicken drumsticks in the oven. What's the solution? Let your drumsticks hang — literally — for all-around exposure to the heat.
Generally, when you lay chicken drumsticks on a sheet pan, they slump to one side and make poor contact with the air and the surface of the pan. Hot air struggles to get around them and thus the skin remains limp. To combat this, you have to turn each drumstick several times, resulting in an oven that drops precipitously in temperature with each opening of the door. Hanging chicken drumsticks requires a little extra preparation, but trust us, the results are worth it in more ways than one. With near perfect exposure to the oven's heat from all angles, the skin acquires an effortless crisp while the meat gently cooks and bastes itself.
Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken
Rack Them Up
You're almost definitely asking how to hang chicken drumsticks in the oven. Seems difficult, but all you have to do is think ahead and get down the technique. First, ensure that your oven racks are positioned in such a way that you can hang the drumsticks. This will likely require moving the racks lower in the oven or simply removing one of the middle racks. You'll definitely want to take out the top rack, as that will be the structure from which you'll hang your drumsticks.
Your next move is to proceed as usual by seasoning the poultry how you normally would. Some cooks are partial to a simple rub of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a touch of smoked paprika, but you do you. Getting the drumsticks into position does require some calculating and finesse. If the bars of your oven rack are close enough together, simply slide the small, knobbed ends of the drumsticks through. The pressure will keep them in place. If the bars are too wide, try adding a wire baking rack with narrower gaps over the oven rack. You can also use butcher's twine to tie the drumsticks to the rack before sliding it back in.
Uniform cooking is certainly the main draw of this technique, but a bonus can be found in the drip pan below. Rather than being utilitarian, try filling it with vegetables and potatoes that baste in the chicken fat as they roast along with the drumsticks.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.