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Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowls

05.17.16

A delicious, wholesome, healthy Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl recipe! Great for an easy weeknight dinner & i included the necessary adaptations to make this a whole30 approved recipe! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

HI HI HI.

We’re using DRUMSTICKS! why? well, because they’re cheap.  and I’m, like, super frugal.

AND we’re using them because they’re juicy and flavorful and FORGIVING.  if i had to give you just ONE reason i love drumsticks, it would be that they’re forgiving.  

Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl prep! Throw a bunch of fresh ingredients into your food processor and marinade!

i’m ALWAYS paranoid that i’m undercooking our poultry.  like, if i see ANY pink in the meat, i make frankie give it back and i’ll put it in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

sooooo when we’re eating chicken breasts, we’re generally eating overcooked chicken.  (which, btw is dry and NOT enjoyable).  and before you’re like “ashley just get a meat thermometer” – i already have one, i just CAN’T get over the paranoia of seeing pink meat.

BUT.  when we’re eating drumsticks it’s like no big deal.  drumsticks are dark meat so they can withstand a little more heat without drying out.  which means I can be sure they’re fully cooked and frankie doesn’t have to eat dry chicken.  (what we like to refer to as a win/win around here)

Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl prep! Throw a bunch of fresh ingredients into your food processor and marinade!

you know what else is a win/win?

a dinner that’s easy & healthy & DELISH.  or would that be a win/win/win?

whatever, it’s seriously just SO easy.  especially if you prep ahead!

Bagging up the chicken for the cilantro chicken drumsticks!

OH OH OH. another reason i love love love this recipe is because it uses similar ingredients to those in my DIY Taco Bar recipe and my guacamole oR OR OR my copy-cat chop’t mexican dressing!  SOOOOO.  it means you just have to buy an extra avocado/jalapeño/lime etc.  and just use what’s leftover from your cilantro bunch/red onion/bell pepper!

what i’m trying to say is: same ingredients, different dishes, different flavors.  the meal planning tri-fecta! (especially if you’re thinking about this for whole30 purposes!)

Sear these drumsticks up & you've got the makings for an easy weeknight dinner! This Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl recipe includes instructions to make it whole30 compliant! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

alright i’m done trying to convince you to make these…. i’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

LOOK AT THE GLISTENING BOTTOM OF MY CASK IRON SKILLET.  i can’t deal with how pretty it is, so shiny and perfect and just WAITING to sizzle when i plop in some chicken.  ugh.

Sear these drumsticks up & you've got the makings for an easy weeknight dinner! This Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl recipe includes instructions to make it whole30 compliant! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

i also CAN’T deal with how easy it is to make these drumsticks.

here’s the secret to cooking them in a cast iron skillet: put them on the skillet and just let. it. rest.  seriously. it’s gonna sizzle and hiss and you just have to let it!  if you try to pull the chicken up and turn it too soon it’ll stick to the bottom of the skillet, you have to let it sear enough to release itself from the pan.  just relax and let it work.  thennnnn flip it and be patient again!

We finish these cilantro chicken drumsticks off with a little extra sauce at the end to give them a power punch of flavor! The flavor is what really makes this Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl recipe stand out! (p.s. i included whole30 adaptations!) | thepikeplacekitchen.com

we’re gonna sear it and let it do it’s thing until it’s pretty golden on all sides and then we’re gonna finish it off in the oven with a schmear of the leftover marinade on each of the drumsticks!

We finish these cilantro chicken drumsticks off with a little extra sauce at the end to give them a power punch of flavor! The flavor is what really makes this Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl recipe stand out! (p.s. i included whole30 adaptations!) | thepikeplacekitchen.com

aka – this green, pesto-like, liquid gold!

when we put this over the drumsticks and bake it up it gets all caramel-y & sticky against the chicken. and what doesn’t stick to the chicken will fall to the bottom of the skillet and will get all crispy and burnt – which happens to be MYYYYY favorite condiment.  When i take the drumsticks off the skillet i scrape off the bits at the bottom of the bowl and mix them in with half the quinoa (frankie isn’t the biggest fan of the bits!) for my bowls.

Crispy & juicy - these drumsticks MAKE this cilantro chicken drumstick bowl recipe! They're SUPER flavorful and perfect for a weeknight dinner (oh and easily whole30 adaptable with the instructions in the recipe). | thepikeplacekitchen.com

sighhhh. i think that drumsticks just remind me of summer.  like my summertime chicken drumsticks!  remember those?!  SO. GOOD.

let’s just eat drumsticks forever.  you can come over and i’ll make them!

(i always keep drumsticks in the freezer for easy access!)

Crispy & juicy - these drumsticks MAKE this cilantro chicken drumstick bowl recipe! They're SUPER flavorful and perfect for a weeknight dinner (oh and easily whole30 adaptable with the instructions in the recipe). | thepikeplacekitchen.com

OH. we should probably briefly talk bowl ingredients right?  I really recommend my quick & easy quinoa recipe and i’d totally use a spiralizer to get super thin slices of red onion & red bell pepper.

and AVOCADO!  if you’re into the chunks go for it!  i, of course, mash mine up when i get ready to eat the bowl… cause you know, i’m a texture freak.  sigh.

oh anddddd if you want a dressing – i used a thinned out version of the basil mayo from these turkey sandwiches!  (p.s. if you were into the whole meal prep thing – the turkey sandwiches also use spiralized onions & red bell pepper!)

A delicious, wholesome, healthy Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl recipe! Great for an easy weeknight dinner & i included the necessary adaptations to make this a whole30 approved recipe! | thepikeplacekitchen.com graphic with border

Cilantro Lime Chicken Drumstick Bowls
 
Prep
Cook
Total
 
Author:
Serves: 4 people
Ingredients
for the marinade:
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • salt & pepper, to taste
for the drumsticks:
  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks (approximately 8 drumsticks)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt & pepper
for the bowls:
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 red bell pepper, spiralized
  • ¼ red onion, spiralized
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • salt & pepper
  • dressing of your choice
Instructions
to make the marinade:
  1. To prep the ingredients, slice the bottom end of the stems off the cilantro, slice the pepper into rounds, peel the garlic cloves, and juice the lime. Combine the prepped ingredients with the remaining four marinade ingredients into a food processor. Blend until the ingredients are broken down and at an almost pesto-like consistency.
to cook the drumsticks:
  1. Cover the chicken drumsticks with the mixture and place in a ziplock bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Add the two tablespoons of olive oil to a large cast iron skillet and heat over medium/high heat until the oil sizzles. Add the drumsticks to the skillet and sear for five minutes before flipping them over to get a sear on the opposite side. After you sear the opposite side for five minutes, transfer the skillet to finish in the oven for 15 minutes. (I spread the leftover marinade, from the ziplock bag, over the drumsticks before putting them in the oven!)
to make the chicken bowls:
  1. Divide the quinoa, pepper, onion, and avocado amongst four bowls. Place two chicken drumsticks in each bowl or alternatively, remove the meat from the bones, dice the meat, and divide evenly across the bowls. Top with your dressing of choice, I used the basil mayo from these turkey sandwiches, thinned out with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a little lime juice! I also offer the scraped up bits from the bottom of the skillet for the bowls, I really love them but Frankie prefers his without, it's an option to consider!
Notes

by omitting the sriracha (add an extra jalapeno if you think you'll really miss the heat) from the chicken marinade and serving the chicken over zoodles, a baked potato, or alongside roasted veggies! You could also make some cauliflower (or other veggie) rice/couscous and use that as the base if you were really into the bowl ideas! Personally, i like eating it just on its own as a snack and it's delish!


cast iron skillet
a food processor - this little one would work (but I used my ninja attachment)

 

A delicious, wholesome, healthy Cilantro Chicken Drumstick Bowl recipe! Great for an easy weeknight dinner & i included the necessary adaptations to make this a whole30 approved recipe! | thepikeplacekitchen.com

^^^ so now you know what i’ll be eating all summer.

Make it? Lemme see it! Hashtag it: #thepikeplacekitchen

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