Garlic, honey, mustard, butter, paprika, and chicken. We definitely have the yum factor here – because the combination of these ingredients, with the addition of some sweet potatoes tossed in, promises some pretty happy taste buds, and a pair of smacking, sticky lips. We also have the economic factor playing pretty heavily too -- chicken drumsticks in Cairo are very affordable, like around EGP20 a kilogram. Sweet potatoes are also relatively inexpensive; I bought a net containing 5 chunky sweet potatoes for about EGP4, and that’s from a supermarket. From one of our awesome veggie street vendors here, it’s for even less. But, besides the staples in this dish being affordable and so very very tasty, it’s been officially approved by my 4-year-old niece, who happens to be the fussiest eater on the planet. As it turns out, she loves drumsticks. I generally always keep about 2 kilograms of these nobbly chicken bits in the freezer, first because they cook fast, and second because they’re easy to make into something delightfully creative.
In this recipe, which takes about 45 minutes or so, we create a special sauce that we gently pour over a few drumsticks. Sounds easy? We toss in a chopped sweet potato for good nutritional measure (or a regular potato, or even carrots!) and we cover in foil and bake. The result? Sticky, sweet, garlicky, tangy -- a very favorable and sexy set of drumsticks, and succulent sweet potatoes that bake in the juices these little legs release. Can't ask for more than that, really!
8 skinless chicken drumsticks
1 medium sized sweet potato, cleaned and chopped*
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add garlic. Cook together for about 5 minutes on medium heat, or until garlic turns slightly golden.
Remove from heat, add honey, soy sauce, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 220.C. Arrange drumsticks in a Pyrex oven dish. Pour sauce over the drumsticks, and roll them around until they’re all coated. Arrange sweet potatoes between the drumsticks, cover in foil, and pop into the oven for about 30 minutes.
Uncover, and turn the drumsticks over. Leave to bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.
Switch on broiler for a few minutes to brown the tops.
You’ll find a nice pool of garlicky butter sauce below the drumsticks and sweet potatoes. Before serving, baste the browned drumsticks in that sauce*. Serve with rice or bread, and enjoy!
* Remember you can use regular potatoes or carrots instead of sweet potatoes.