To license this image please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bay leaves haven’t made much of an appearance on The Spice Train so far. I’m actually not sure why that is because I really like their slightly mentholy and herby flavor a lot, and I don’t view them as optional supporting characters, I like to let them take center stage as they do in this roasted chicken drumsticks dish.
I browned these guys in a cast iron pan with a bit of olive oil, then added the bay leaves and finished cooking them in the oven. You could easily serve them right then with a bit of rice or bread but if you are into saucy things you can continue with a quick pan sauce. I just added a minced shallot and chicken broth to the pan, reduced the mix, then finished it off with fresh tarragon, mustard and sour cream. A great, quick weeknight meal.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron pan until shimmering.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook on high heat until browned.
- Add the bay leaves to the pan and transfer to the oven.
- When the chicken drumsticks are cooked through transfer them onto a plate and set aside.
- Add the shallot to the pan and cook until softened (about 2 minutes).
- Add the chicken broth to the pan and simmer until reduced to about ¼ cup, then take off the heat.
- Stir in the tarragon, the mustard and the sour cream.
- Serve with rice or bread.
Food Photography and Styling: Since the bay leaves are the important ingredient here I made sure to select two pretty ones and then laid them prominently on the drumsticks for the photo. I knew from previous experience that arranging drumsticks on a round plate or pan is a nightmare so I went with an oval dish/small platter and I think that worked nicely. I used an antique wooden milk crate as my “table” and my dark wood tray as the “wall.” My wooden salt and pepper shaker fit well into the rustic set and provided some height in the back of the frame. As usual, I lit this photo with my strobe.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.