Does it seem to take forever for your chicken legs to cook in the oven or on the grill? And when they're finally done (or so you think) they're either not fully cooked or they're overcooked? You may be able to solve both issues by preparing partially boiled chicken drumsticks before they go in the oven.
You can finish off your oven-boiled chicken legs by baking in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Benefits of Parboiling
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating raw or undercooked animal meat, which includes chicken, is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States. Raw chicken may be contaminated with various types of bacteria that can make you sick, including Salmonella and Campylobacter.
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To be safe, FoodSafety.gov recommends all chicken meat — breast, legs, thighs, quarters, drumsticks and wings — be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you followed your oven-boiled chicken breast recipe exactly, it's always possible to end up with undercooked or overcooked meat due to the variations in sizes of the chicken parts.
Making boiled chicken drumsticks or other cuts before baking them may help prevent under or overcooking your chicken and reduce the amount of time your chicken legs spend in the oven. Parboiling your chicken before it goes in the oven may also give you an opportunity to infuse more flavor into the meat with the use of different liquids and flavorings.
Preparing Boiled Chicken Drumsticks
Technically, parboiled and boiled chicken drumsticks aren't the same. When preparing your drumsticks for the oven, you want to parboil not boil. Parboiling is a technique that uses low heat to partially cook the meat, while boiling cooks the meat all the way through. Because you want to finish your chicken in the oven, it's better to parboil.
Begin by first trimming the fat from your chicken legs and rinsing them under cold running water in the sink. Then place your chicken legs in a large pot and cover them with water. Add salt and other seasonings, such as crushed garlic cloves, quartered onions or slices of fresh lemon. Place your chicken on the stove over medium-high heat and boil for 7 minutes, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 3 more minutes.
You can also boil your water first and then add the chicken, which may be helpful if you're parboiling different chicken parts. Once your water is boiling, add your trimmed and washed chicken. Cook your legs, thighs and quarters for five minutes, your chicken breast for 10 minutes and wings for 15 to 20 minutes. Use tongs to remove the chicken from the water, and then place it on a plate and pat it dry.
Oven Boiled Chicken Leg Quarters
Once your boiled chicken drumsticks have finished parboiling, they're ready to go in the oven that's been preheated to 450 degree Fahrenheit. Before you pop your chicken in the oven, add your favorite seasonings to your oven boiled chicken leg quarters, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano or paprika.
Instead of herbs and spices, you can coat your boiled chicken drumsticks with your favorite barbecue sauce before baking. Just be aware that bottled barbecue sauce can be high in sodium. According to USDA data, two tablespoons of bottled barbecue sauce may have as much as 271 milligrams of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, and the barbecue sauce is 10 percent of the daily limit.
The experts at Northwest Kidney Centers suggest making your own barbecue sauce using low-sodium ketchup and no-salt tomato sauce to keep sodium intake in check. Use ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper to get the barbecue taste you love.
Once you've seasoned your boiled chicken drumsticks the way you like them, bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until your chicken has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Food Most Likely to Cause Food Poisoning"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Chicken and Food Poisoning"
- FoodSafety.gov: "Safe Minimum Cooking Temperature Charts"
- The Spruce Eats: "How to Parboil a Food Item"
- Better Homes and Gardens: "How to Boil Chicken: Our No-Fail Technique"
- FoodData Central: "BBQ Sauce"
- American Heart Association: "How Much Sodium Should I Eat Per Day"
- Northwest Kidney Centers: "Low Salt BBQ Sauce"
- MDHealth.com: "How to Parboil Chicken"