Slow-Cooker Caribbean Chicken Drumsticks
Daniel J. van Ackere/ America's Test Kitchen
Why This Recipe Works: Meltingly tender, slow-cooked chicken drumsticks pair perfectly with bold, spicy flavors, so we set out to create a recipe for Caribbean jerk–style drumsticks. We started by building a flavorful jerk marinade using classic jerk ingredients such as habanero chile, garlic, and ginger. But once we got to the typical additions of molasses and brown sugar, we had to employ some creative techniques to replace these nonpaleo ingredients. A simple solution was to add raisins, which provided a subtle sweetness without giving themselves away. Once slow-cooked, our drumsticks were tender and flavorful, but tasters still wanted crisp skin. A quick stint under the broiler easily solved this problem; brushing the drumsticks twice with some reserved marinade while broiling ensured they stayed moist and contributed additional flavor. Try to buy drumsticks of similar size so that they will cook at the same rate. You can substitute a serrano chile for the habanero. Wear gloves when working with hot chiles. You will need a 5 1/2- to 7-quart slow cooker for this recipe.
- 8 scallions, chopped coarse
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 habanero chile, stemmed and seeded
- 1 one-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
- 2 Tablespoons raisins
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme or two teaspoons dried
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 Tablespoon ground allspice
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 Pounds chicken drumsticks
- Lime wedges, for garnish
Process scallions, oil, habanero, ginger, raisins, thyme, garlic, allspice, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and coriander in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer 1/2 cup paste to a large bowl; transfer remaining paste to a small bowl, and set aside.
Add the chicken to the large bowl with the paste and toss to coat; transfer the coated chicken to the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, about 3 to 4 hours on low.
Adjust the oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set the wire rack in an aluminum foil–lined, rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the drumsticks to prepared rack; discard the cooking liquid.
Microwave the reserved paste until heated through, about 20 seconds. Brush chicken with half of paste and broil until lightly charred and crisp, about 15 minutes, flipping and brushing drumsticks with remaining paste halfway through broiling. Serve with lime wedges.