I wasn’t sure what to do with a bunch of chicken drumsticks that had thawed during our freezer disaster but I knew I wanted to do something gluten-free and out of the ordinary, and these coconut-quinoa encrusted drumsticks fit the bill.
I got inspired while searching the internet for chicken leg recipes and came across this one for Crunchy Coconut & Lime Drumsticks from The Family Feedbag, so I took the recipe and tweaked it a bit to meet my wheat-free household’s needs. And, I didn’t have a lime but I did have a lemon, so that filled in. Instead of the chile powder called for, I used a Cajun spice mix. Just a small change.
The bigger changes came from making the drumsticks wheat-free by substituting spelt flour for wheat flour, and quinoa flakes for Panko bread crumbs. While spelt does contain a gluten protein, it is different enough from wheat gluten that many gluten-intolerant people can tolerate spelt just fine. To make this recipe completely gluten-free, swap out the spelt flour for almond flour. In fact, next time I’m going to make these with almond meal and I think they would be even better.
I love using quinoa flakes in place of bread crumbs in lots of recipes. Quinoa flakes make a very simple gluten-free breadcrumb solution.
I also skinned the drumsticks simply because I don’t like chicken skin. You can leave it on, of course, when you make your own version..
My family gave this recipe a double thumbs up for deliciousness and has already asked me to make it again.
Here’s the recipe for fun and different chicken legs.
Gluten-free Crunchy Coconut Chicken Drumsticks.
- 3 lbs. chicken drumsticks (about 12), skinned
- 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup spelt flour or almond flour/almond meal
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. Cajun spice mix (I use a blend from the Savory Spice Shop. You can also use plain chile powder.)
Place the skinned (or not) chicken into a dish. Zest the lemon and reserve the zest, then slice the fruit and squeeze lemon juice over the chicken. The acid will start marinating the chicken. If you have time, cover and place in the fridge for a few hours.
Spread the flour or a plate. Beat the eggs in a bowl large enough to fit a drumstick.
In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon zest, shredded coconut, sea salt, and spice mix.
Create an assembly line:
- Roll the drumstick in flour.
- Dip it in the egg.
- Roll the drumstick in the coconut mixture.
Place the drumsticks on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet leaving space between each one. Put the sheet into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the chicken brings a meat thermometer up to 180 degrees F. For best results, turn the drumsticks after around 25-30 minutes to brown all sides.