You know, the one I alluded to yesterday.
This is the recipe I used as a guide. Only, when I tried it, I found some aspects of it not to my taste:
- Followed from the original recipe, the chili powder dominated the overall flavor. Not objectively bad, but I thought I could tweak it to my palette a bit more.
- Following the 10-hour recommendation in my crock pot, the meat was literally falling off the bones. Not actually a bad thing in chicken overall, but I do consider it sub-optimal when cooking drumsticks, which shall, for me, always and forever be finger food.
So on the flavor side, this is the seasoning combination I like. And I’ll add — because I also did not know this the first time — that because it’s a dry rub, it’s somewhat important to buy “powder” versions of as much as possible. Or at least consistent grind versions of each seasoning so that they coat evenly. If I use, say, minced garlic and ground cumin powder, more cumin will stick than will garlic. I found this out the hard way and would prefer to save someone else the same — so act like you just knew this the whole time.
Anyway, the seasoning combination I like:
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder (garlic is my favorite)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons black pepper (I like black pepper an awful lot, too)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (we get the kind rated to 90,000 HU, so feel free to adjust accordingly)
Additionally, instead of using just onion on the bottom of the crock pot, I like equal portions of onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper — coarsely chopped, just enough to cover the bottom of the crock pot.
Also, when it comes to leaving the dry rub sit overnight, I’ve found that this does not make an appreciable difference to me. I think this is because the meat is cooking for so long with the dry rub on that it’s going to take on its flavors regardless.
On the cooking times, I’ve found this to be true, at least for my crock pot:
- 10 hours is about the right time for larger pieces of meat that I’d either pull/shred or that I’d otherwise eat with a knife and fork, where falling off the bone is almost entirely a good thing — e.g., with half breasts
- Some stores sell teeny tiny drumsticks called drumettes. For these, 4 hours in my crock pot is the perfect balance between tenderness and structural integrity — i.e., the meat is tender but does not fall of the bone as I’m trying to pull a drumette out of the pot. I expect — but have not proven — that this is near the equation with wings.
- I have still not figured out how to work this balance with full size drumsticks. I am not sure if it’s really that tricksy or if my grocer’s drumsticks are unusually large or what. Would welcome feedback from experimenters.