Balsamic Chicken Drumettes

A couple of weekends ago, the biology grad department invited a distinguished alumna to have a meet and greet with us and talk to us about life after grad school. Of course, that included several social events, one of which was a potluck. For my contribution, I prepared chicken wings because I wanted something substantial. I had just seen Giada de Laurentiis prepare these chicken wings earlier in the week, and I couldn't get my mind off of them. They looked so sticky and decadent I knew my friends would like them. The one major change I did to this recipe was after preparing the wings I stashed them in a warm crockpot (slow cooker) so they'd stay warm all night. Also, this recipe makes a lot of sauce, so I added more drummettes than called for in the recipe (I also made a double batch!) For these, I used the meatier drumette instead of a mixture of the drumettes and wingettes (the wingette would be the one with the two little bones, and the drumette is the one with the one larger bone). I don't think the smaller wing cut would stand up to roasting as well as the meatier drumette. These were a real crowd-pleaser, especially with the seems as if most guys can't resist a chicken wing!

Balsamic Chicken Drumettes
Printable Recipe

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
10 sprigs rosemary
10 garlic cloves, smashed
30 chicken drumettes (about 3 lbs)
4 tbsp sesame seeds
non-stick cooking spray

1. Combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves, in a large, re-sealable plastic bag. Shake the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar. Add the drumettes to the bag and seal with as little air as possible in the bag. Place the bag in a bowl to protect your refrigerator from leaks, then place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
3. Place the chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake until the skin is caramelized, about 30 to 35 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, strain the marinade and place the marinade in a saucepan (the saucepan should be about double the volume of the marinade because this can boil over easily!). Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. 
5. To serve, brush each drumette with the reduced marinade and sprinkle with sesame seeds. If using a crockpot, preheat the crockpot then place a single layer of chicken on the bottom. Pour over some sauce and then add a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Keep layering the chicken, sauce, and seeds until the crockpot is full. Keep warm.

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