These marinated Cilantro Lime Chicken Drumsticks are anything but boring! M ade with just six ingredients, these flabor packed drumsticks are perfect for a weeknight dinner or weekend barbecue.
It's easy to get bored with chicken and I am always on the look out for new ways to serve this popular protein. One thing I have been doing lately is using parts of the chicken other than the breast. Our new family favorite - the drumstick!
My kids love that they can pick it up and eat it right from the bone. I love that its affordable, versatile, and with the right marinade it can be so delicious.
That's where this Cilantro Lime Chicken Drumsticks come in. It starts with a simple marinade of fresh cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and jalapeno. The drumsticks soak up all this flavor and the lime juice ensures the chicken will be nice and tender.
Then just cook them in the oven or throw them on the grill. Normally I make chicken drumsticks without the skin, but you could also leave it on. Totally up to you. We also love these Baked Chicken Drumsticks.
What You'll Need and Easy Swaps
Here is everything you need to make these tasty chicken drumsticks.
- Chicken drumsticks: Drumsticks are a great affordable protein. Make them with or without the skin. This recipe will also work with chicken thighs and chicken breasts if you prefer.
- Cilantro: The bright, zippy flavor of cilantro is the base of this marinade. If you don't want a strong cilantro flavor, plan on using half as much. You could swap in parsley or basil, but it won't have the same end flavor.
- Lime juice: The lime juice acts both as a flavor agent and as a way to tenderize the chicken. Lemon juice will also work but will be a slightly different flavor. Lemon is a good option if you are also changing the herbs.
- Jalapeno: Blending the jalapeno into the marinade gives it a nice amount of spice. Nothing overly spicy. If you prefer this without spice, leave out the jalapeno or use half a poblano pepper.
- Cumin: To add a little smoky flavor, cumin is the perfect addition to the marinade. Smoked paprika would also work.
- Optional additions: If you prefer a sweeter flavor, add some honey or brown sugar to the marinade. Garlic powder or fresh garlic cloves also taste great with the cilantro lime marinade.
What to Serve with Chicken Drumsticks
There are so many side dish options for chicken drumsticks. Normally, it is best to pair them with a stach and a vegetable. Here are some of the side dishes we serve most often with this recipe.
- For something light and fresh, serve this with a simple Spring Mix Salad or Arugula Salad.
- For the starch, consider making these easy Baked Sweet Potato Fries or some Easy Roasted Potatoes.
- Make some tasty veggies like this Sauteed Broccoli or Roasted Green Beans.
- For something quick and easy, serve drumsticks with some steamed white or brown rice.
Storing Leftover Drumsticks
If you have leftover cooked drumsticks, they can be kept int the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Leftover drumsticks can be enjoyed cold or you can gently reheat them in the microwave on 50% power so they don't get rubbery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about cooking these chicken drumsticks.
When baked in the oven at 400 degrees, drumsticks take 40-50 minutes to cook completely. The exact cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of the drumsticks. Drumsticks should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Chicken legs have two parts. There is the drumstick, which is the calf area of the chicken. Then there is the chicken thigh. When these two parts of attached, it is called a chicken leg. This recipe will work with drumsticks, thighs, and a full chicken leg. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
To cook chicken drumsticks in the air fryer, start by seasoning the drumsticks with marinade or seasoning. Then place in a single layer in the air fryer. Cook at 380 degrees for 10 minutes. Carefully open and flip over the chicken. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
It's easy to cook chicken drumsticks on the grill. Once they are seasoned or marinated, simply place them on a preheated grill. Then cook for 30 minutes, turning the chicken every 10 minutes so it doesn't burn. The drumsticks need to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Cilantro Jalapeno Chicken Drumsticks
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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