Following no rules this month, cooking whatever craziness comes to mind and boneless drumsticks stuffed with cheese is exactly what I was in the mood for. I am always on a quest to improve my fried chicken skills and this one is double dipped and stuffed with onions, peperjack, and parmesan cheese.
Generally I plan my recipes a year ahead of time. For this coming October (pumpkin month) I had the idea to debone and stuff a chicken or turkey leg, fill it with stuffing and roast it. I was reviewing my files and remembered it,then decided to give it a try. The process of deboning the drumstick is much easier than I’m sure you think it is. It took me about 8 minutes to debone 10 drumsticks. The hardest part is cutting the meat away from the joint bone, after that its pretty simple and easy. I'm even more excited than before to try this recipe with the pumpkin stuffing I have in mind.
I love the pairing of cheese and onions. Pepper jack cheese is one of my favorite and parmesan gives a rich kick to cheese dishes; It was a no brainer for me to use these two cheeses. I would however venture to say some smoked mozzarella or smoked gouda would be absolutely mind blowing in this chicken as well.
The real issue lies with stuffing the chicken and the cheese staying put. Generally when you stuff chicken with cheese and cook it, there is a 90 percent chance that it will find a way to escape. The issue is as the meat cooks; it firms up and expands so it is essentially pushing the cheese out to give itself room to cook. There are several methods that you need to employ in order to mitigate as much cheese loss as possible.
Firstly, don’t use the cut of drumstick I did. Ideally you want a leg quarter with the skin intact. Release and peel back the skin from the thigh and fold it all the way over to the leg then cut the joint off removing the skinless thigh (save that for another recipe). You will end up with a drumstick with a whole lot of extra skin. The skin is what will help seal the opening.
Secondly you should form the cheese mixture into balls or even tiny cylindrical shapes and freeze them. That way, as the chicken cooks the cheese will slowly melt as opposed to an already room temperature cheese that will ooze out before the chicken is cooked.
Thirdly, try not to overfill the drumstick, make your balls small enough that they can fit into the drumstick and leave space at the opening for any meat expansion.
And lastly double dip the chicken. The layers of flour and egg wash will seal the whole thing in. please bear in mind that where there is a will, there is a way. So if your cheese still escapes, no biggie it was just meant to be, eat it and enjoy it anyway like it did. I was too lazy to freeze my cheese balls and about 5 of my drumsticks had leaks…they were still delicious!
Ingredients (printable recipe)
2 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black pepper
1 tablespoon Onion powder
2 teaspoon Paprika
1 tablespoon ground allspice
½ cup pepper jack
1 small onion
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 cup Corn starch
2 cups Flour
1 cup milk
Oil for deep frying
Greedy Tip: Even though in this post I used pre-cut drumstick I would advise against it. The ideal cut of meat to use would be leg quarters. Peel back the skin from the thigh and cut the joint removing the skinless thigh while keeping the skin in-tact to the leg. This leaves you with extra skin to cover and seal in the stuffing. If you use pre-cut drumsticks you will have some cheese escaping because there is not enough skin to cover the opening
- Preheat the oil to 365 degrees
- In a bowl combine the shredded pepper jack cheese parmesan and shredded onion. Roll into 10 balls and freeze.
- Take each drumstick (either pre-cut drumsticks or the drumstick with the extra thigh skin) and cut the meat from around the cartilage at the joint.
- Using a sharp knife scrape along the bone to remove the meat pulling it down to the bottom of the drumstick. Make sure to cut away any connecting muscle.
- Once the meat is pulled all the way back use a chopping knife and cut the, long bone leaving just the bottom tip
- Roll back the meat and skin up to reshape the boneless drumstick. It will only have the bone at the very bottom still connected.
- Season the chicken with salt, black pepper, onion powder, allspice and paprika. Allow it to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Place a ball of cheese in each drumstick as far down as possible; make sure it’s not close to the opening If you have the drumstick with the extra thigh skin fold the skin over the opening, allowing it to touch the skin on the other side.
- Cut away any excess skin below where the two ends meet.
- Double dip the chicken by first dredging in flour then dipping in the egg/milk mixture, then back into the flour then back into the egg mixture and finally back into the flour make sure to seal the opening of the drumstick with this method (especially if your using precut drumsticks)
- Place in the hot oil and fry for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy
|this is too stuffed, I actually removed some of this cheese|