Let me first warn you: This recipe requires marinating overnight. I hadn’t read very carefully when I started making this, which led to a disappointed, hungry night. The next day, though, we had a really tasty dinner! These drumsticks stay really moist, and the lemon is nice without being grossly tart.
You start off by mixing lemon zest, lemon juice, water, and sugar in a large bowl, and then whisking in buttermilk.
Pierce the drumsticks several times with a fork and season with salt and pepper.
Throw ’em in the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, take the chicken out of the fridge to warm up to room temperature. Put the panko, thyme, more lemon zest, cayenne, salt and pepper in a big Ziplock and shake to combine. Put a cooling rack on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Put your mayo in a bowl and steel yourself mentally to get kinda gross.
Pull the drumsticks out of the marinade and, with your hands, slather the mayo on the chicken and put them in the bag. Shake them to coat well in panko mixture and then transfer to your greased cooling rack. I found 4 to be about the max number of drumsticks I wanted in the bag at a time.
Crunchy Lemonade Drumsticks
From Noble Pig
- 2 Tablespoons grated lemon zest, divided
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 3-1/2-4-1/2 pounds skin-on chicken drumsticks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- Olive-oil cooking spray
Mix 1 Tablespoon lemon zest and all of the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add 1 cup water and the sugar and whisk to dissolve, then whisk in the buttermilk. Pierce the drumsticks several times with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400o F. Bring the chicken to room temperature. Put the Panko, thyme, the remaining lemon zest, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper in a large resealable plastic bag and shake to mix. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl. Set a rack on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Remove the drumsticks from the marinade and with your hands, slather the mayo on the chicken and drop in the plastic bag, shaking to coat; transfer to the rack.
Mist the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes; flip and bake until browned and crisp 35 to 40 minutes more.