In my quest to use up stuff in my pantry I was pleased to see that the guys at The Bitten Word had their own pantry challenge. Their Clean Out the Cupboard challenge though was a bit different than mine...For one week, all three meals they made each day, were only made from stuff they had in their freezer or pantry. They only spent $15 at the store for milk and produce for that week. They came up with some really great sounding meals only using stuff they had on hand. I'm soooo not that talented a cook yet. My talent is to pick one item, then spend hours looking through all my cookbooks to see what I can make with that one item. Then I go buy tons of ingredients to use up that one pantry item. Pathetic I know, but believe it or not, my freezer and pantry are slowly getting less crowded.
This dish was perfect for me to start off my Operation Pantry Project a few weeks ago as it used up three items I had on hand...some chicken drumsticks that were in the freezer; some of the Rice Krispies cereal I had in the cabinet; and an envelope of Ranch Dressing Mix that was in the pantry.
This recipe also brought back a bit of nostalgia, because I don't know about you, but chicken cooked like this was pretty big while I was growing up. If I'm not mistaken the recipe used to be on the back of the Rice Krispies box at one point and most folks might remember the version made with cornflakes. The recipe I chose made a wonderful coating and the ranch dressing added just the right amount of flavor. I'm thinking I might need to make this again the next time I'm having a picnic.
When I went looking for the back of the box recipe I found many versions using all kinds of coatings and flavorings. This recipe comes from the Woman's Day website. What is cool about their recipe is that it gives many variations on the coating (think potato chips or wheat germ or pretzels!), one of which was using Cheese-It type crackers which I must try!
CRUNCHY OVEN-FRIED DRUMSTICKS
8 (3 1/2 lb) drumsticks
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal, crushed
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a jelly-roll pan or shallow roasting pan with foil. Coat with nonstick cooking spray.
Skin chicken by grasping skin with paper towels and pulling off. Or if you're like me and want to live a little dangerously calorie and fat wise, leave the skin on for flavor.
Place crisp rice cereal in a plastic ziploc bag. Add the packet of ranch dressing, close the bag and crush the krispies with the heel of your hand (some folks say to use a rolling pin, but that's an extra step that I think is a bit overkill. Those Rice Krispies will succumb to the force of your strong hand quite easily!).
In a pie plate or shallow bowl, slightly beat egg. Coat a few drumsticks at a time in the egg mixture.
Put 1 or 2 drumsticks in the bag with the cereal coating and shake to coat chicken evenly.
Place coated drumsticks on prepared pan; lightly coat drumsticks with cooking spray. Bake 20 to 35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and coating is browned. Serves 4.
Note: I used Rice Krispies and Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
Note: I didn't pulverize the Rice Krispies...instead I left bigger pieces. Some of the coating turned out great on the chicken while some pieces had a much finer coating. All tasted the same though the look was different.
Note: Yes, I did leave on the skin.
Alas, the recipe does not include any nutritional information. I estimated that the drumsticks were about 200 calories each and that the carb count would be about 12 per drumstick. But don't quote me on that.