Roast chicken dinner is a comfort food that keeps on giving. Use the leftover meat for soups, boil the carcass for stock, etc. But sometimes we just don’t have the time to prepare a whole bird. I’m a dark meat person all the way. I much prefer the rich and juicy flavor of thighs or drumsticks over breast meat. Because of the fat content, dark meat stays nice and tender despite the high heat of an oven. And when you buy drumsticks with the skin on and bone in they are actually quite cheap. For this meal I have paired drumsticks with a fresh and tangy orzo pasta salad, some crunchy chopped radishes, and a tender piece of roasted fennel. Affordable, delicious, and simple weeknight meals are always a good idea.
Free from peanuts, nuts, dairy, egg, soy, fish, shellfish
Alternatives: Use a gluten-free pasta or rice instead of orzo if there is a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance
5 chicken drumsticks
1 bulb of fennel, cut in half
2 1/2 cups cooked orzo
1/4 cup chopped dill
the juice of one lemon (approx, 2 tbsp.)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup quartered radishes
Toss the chicken and fennel in 1 tbsp. of olive oil and about 1/2 tsp of salt. Lay the pieces out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 375F for 30 minutes, then flip and bake at 410F for another 15 - 20 minutes or until crispy. The skin will keep the chicken nice and moist while the outer layer gets really crispy. The fennel will caramelize and become tender.
In the meantime, cook the orzo, drain, and toss with the remaining olive oil, dill, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Toss well.
Serve a hot scoop of orzo with a couple drumsticks, half the radishes, and a half bulb of fennel.