Main Dishes

Tuscan-style chicken drumsticks

Living in California means I’ve been graced with the opportunity to grill outdoors all year long. Living in a studio apartment, however, with no patio and no grill, does not. But, this doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy all the wonderful, smoky flavors of an outdoor grill in my very own kitchen. The secret? A cast iron grill pan.

Cast iron is kind of a b**** to clean, especially the grill pan ones, but the char and flavor you get from it, is so worth it. If you don’t have cast iron, you can use any type of indoor grill you have, or better yet, an actual grill! These would also be great baked, you just won’t have the char marks or smoky flavor that you get from grilling.

As I mentioned in my Neapolitan pizza entry, I got to enjoy a full on Italian feast when I was in Boston visiting my friend, Carissa. In addition to the array of pizzas, her dad also whipped up some wings in his wood-fired oven that Carissa made a quick, Tuscan-style sauce to toss in. The sauce consisted of lemons, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Simple, fresh, and bright—that’s what I love about Italian cooking. They don’t overcomplicate things by using too many ingredients or seasonings.

The combination of lemon, garlic, and herbs has become one of my favorite flavor profiles. The savory notes from the garlic and herbs marry so well with the acidity and brightness of the lemon. It makes a great marinade for seafood and poultry, but it’s also delicious over pasta. Shrimp scampi, anybody??

Alright, now that my mouth is watering, let’s get to the drummies!



  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a mixing bowl to make the marinade. Set aside a couple tablespoons of marinade to toss chicken in after it’s cooked. Add chicken drumsticks and the rest of the marinade to a large ziplock bag and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a cast iron grill pan (or whatever pan you’re using) to med-high. If you’re using cast iron, you want it to start smoking before you put in your chicken.

Oh yeah.. It can get a little smoky, so you may want to open a window or turn on the vent (or disable the fire alarm). 

Remove chicken from the bag and reserve marinade for basting. Grill the drumsticks for a few minutes until grill marks form. Flip and repeat this process until all four sides have marks. Turn down the heat to med-low and continue flipping every few minutes or so, basting the chicken with the marinade as you go. Cook chicken until internal temp in the thickest part of the chicken (not touching the bone) reaches between 165-175° (about 25-30 minutes).

Take chicken off the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Toss drumsticks with the marinade you saved in the beginning, right before serving.

*To avoid dried out chicken, I suggest taking it off the grill at 165°, as it will rise another 5 degrees or so when it rests. 

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