In the late Winter months in Calgary, I like to break up the comfort food cycle at least once a week with something a little more exotic. Dishes with bright flavors and colors mean so much more when you can see the promise of Spring. These recipes are like flavorful foreshadowings of summer. The flavors and spices provide a bit of tasty bliss!
Experimenting with more exotic recipes can sometimes be a bit costly - especially if it’s a main dish or protein. These days when I go to the grocery store, it’s sticker shock after sticker shock! Food is pricey these days.
According to www.numbeo.com, the cost of groceries in Calgary is 8.5 per cent higher than living in Edmonton; a whopping 15.95 per cent higher than Red Deer; and 12.22 per cent higher than Lethbridge. Sheesh! With gas prices coming down, it may be cheaper to drive to Okotoks for your groceries! Remember that when you have to drive out of town to see the family, might as well hit the old grocery store on your way back into town.
My solution to finding a bright, fun, as well as economical recipe to feed my family and friends is the almighty giant pack of Chicken Drumsticks from Costco Wholesale. The price is right, the quality is high and they’re fresh. I paid $13.58 for 21 drumsticks. That’s about 65 cents per drumstick. Not too shabby. All we have to do now is dress them up.
Now with all cheaper cuts of meat or chicken, in general, they need to be marinated overnight. The flavors burst and the meat is so juicy, balancing the marinade and preserving the taste of the chicken.
Here are three different and easy marinade recipes to take those plump little soldiers to the next level:
First, divide your package of drumsticks into three separate re-sealable plastic bags or sealed containers, then prepare your marinades and pour into each. Squish the bag around well removing all the air you can, making sure every drumstick is slathered with goodness and then pop them into the fridge overnight.
When you get home from work, heat your oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit and bake the drumsticks uncovered in lined pans (parchment paper is useful here for easy cleanup). Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, turning half-way through.
Marinade #1 (Just Peachy)
In a saucepan over medium heat add:
3 Tbsp. of soy sauce
1 cup of BBQ sauce
½ cup of peach jam
½ tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. of Maple Syrup
Stir until the sauce comes together and the jam melts in, remove from heat and set aside.
Marinade #2 (Greek Lemon)
In a small bowl combine:
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
3 large cloves of minced garlic
3 Tbsp. Greek seasoning
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1 tsp. black pepper
¾ cup olive oil
Combine ingredients and set aside.
Marinade #3 (Marbella)
½ cup sliced green olives
¼ cup of capers with a little splash of its juice
1 cup diced dried apricots, raisins and/or dates
4 cloves of garlic minced
4 small bay leaves
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Just before baking, sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar and ¼ cup of water.
Enjoy those little soldiers!
Butterfan Catering and Pop-up Buffets is a local catering company specializing in holidays, special occasions and pop-up buffets. With over 15 years experience, Butterfan produces creative and fun private, corporate and public events combining cool dècor items and catering services into one. Call Desiree at 403-861-7146 for a chat and a quote, or check out her website, www.butterfan.com. Stay in the loop by following her blog, Butterfan Living, www.butterfanliving.com, follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/butterfanliving and Twitter @Butterfan.
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