Encouraged by our modest success with our first attempt cooking with toaster oven (see Ep 1), we decided to look for some ideas on cooking with toaster ovens. We landed on a Cuisinart oven manual with some simple recipes. One of their recipes for cooking with their oven was five spice chicken wings. You can see the detailed instructions here. We took our inspiration from there but made some small modifications.
Cooking with Toaster Oven – Ep 2 – Five Spice Chicken Drumsticks
We did not have any 5 spice powder and had to buy some from the Fairprice supermarket. This little bottle costs $1.50. We decided to go with chicken drumsticks instead of chicken wings as they were meatier and would be easier to handle on the plate. We bought a tray each of normal chicken and the slightly more expensive Sakura chicken. We were also interested to see if there is any difference. The total cost of five juicy chicken drumsticks (about 600 g) was around $7.
The receipt for the five spice chicken wings is relatively easy. Just mix the lot and let it marinate. We used a heaped table spoonful of the 5 spice powder, a pinch of salt and a generous amount of olive oil. We also added a half teaspoon of dark soy sauce, mainly to darken the look of the skin. After coating all the marinade on the drumsticks, they were left in the fridge for 45 minutes.
According to the recipe, the chicken wings were to be cooked for 25 minutes at 425 degrees F. We had learnt that cooking with toaster oven was slightly different from larger ovens as they are smaller and heat up quickly. Another variable is whether the oven had a fan. Here is an example of a conversion chart from Fahrenheit to Celsius (from Google search).
Bearing all that in mind and that our chicken drumsticks were larger than wings, we decided to use a temperature of 200 degrees C for a cooking period of 25 minutes. Both the top and bottom grills and the fan were switched on.
The outcome was not bad. The colour looked nice and the inside was cooked. It could do with a bit more cooking to make the skin crisp. Perhaps we should add another couple of minutes and we could move the tray nearer the top heating element.
The taste and texture were both good. The drumsticks were very moist. As for the difference between regular chicken and Sakura chicken – we thought that the regular ones had rougher skin (with the bigger “pimples”) when raw, but they both smoothed out during cooking and looked the same. Taste wise we could not detect any difference between the two.
To garnish the dish we decided to have just simple onion rings. We did not include them in the oven as we did not want them to soften. The taste of onion with the roasted chicken was like eating satay. A nice snack to go with beer or champagne!
600 g of meaty drumsticks
Marinating time : 45 minutes
Cooking time : 25 minutes at 200 degrees C, tray at middle position