Skinless Balsamic Chicken Drumettes

I first tested this recipe just this week for a corporate lunch that I cater every Friday. (Well, I just got back a few hours ago from the gig, and this dish was a pretty big hit!) Wanting to do a Healthy Super Bowl-inspired spread, I needed a great recipe for "wings". I found these drumettes...original recipe by Giada, tested and modified by me :) 

Giada is an incredible chef, no doubt. But in Everyday Italian,  I don't think low-cal is highest priority ;). So, I just tweaked her delicious creation a little to lean a little harder toward the nutritious side. 

Here's the recipe for the lower-cal, lower-fat version:
I mainly just cut back on the brown sugar and unnecessary saturated fat from the chicken skin.  Daniel noted that the test batch was tooo sweet, and believe me, he has a sweet tooth... The honey AND brown sugar is a lottt of sugar and a big insulin spike (which makes you store fat.) I also think these are best SKINLESS.  Don't you always end up tossing aside that greasy bite of skin, anyway?! I did half of the baking sheet with skin-on and half skinless. We thought the meat on the skinless bunch had so much more of the great marinade flavor than that of the ones with the skin on. I tend to think that the skin blocks the meat from absorbing the marinade. And, there's enough saturated fat in the dark meat of the chicken leg that we don't need it from the skin, too. 

- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup organic brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed and halved
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped organic fresh-flat parsley 

Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic cloves, in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together, dissolving brown sugar. Pour balsamic mixture into a large, re-sealable plastic bag. 

Rinse the chicken drumsticks with water and pat dry. Holding the meaty end of the drumstick, pull the skin down toward the small, bony end. You might have a little resistance but you should be able to pull the skin completely off and discard. 

Put the skinless drumsticks into the bag, squeeze out any extra air and seal the bag. Massage the chicken through the bag to coat all the chicken drumsticks with marinade. Place the bag in a bowl or large dish and place in the refrigerator. Marinate anywhere from 4-24 hours. 

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. 

Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Place chicken on baking sheet and put in oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until you see some dark, caramelizing spots.  

Meanwhile, pour the marinade from the bag into a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil for at least two minutes, killing any bacteria from the raw chicken. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. If your sauce doesn't thicken, then dissolve 1 tablespoon arrowroot (or cornstarch) in 3 tablespoons water and pour mixture into the balsamic marinade. Stir constantly until thick. If needed, repeat thickening step. 

Using a pastry brush, give a generous coating to each drumstick on one side. Let stand a few minutes, flip drumsticks and apply to the other side. 

Place the chicken drumettes on a serving platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for a little extra crunch and nuttiness and chopped parsley for a beautiful, fresh finish. 

Your Super Bowl appetizer is ready! These are also good for a pot-luck, party, corporate lunch, whatever!