Drumsticks are a popular food choice. They are satisfyingly tender, juicy, and full of flavor. But there is another part of the chicken that doesn’t get the love it deserves.
We’re talking about drumettes! These bite-sized chicken pieces are very underrated. There is so much flavor in this one piece that, with the right recipe, it might replace your preference for drumsticks entirely.
So, what’s the difference between a drumette and a drumstick? Drumette is the topmost part of a full chicken wing. It resembles a drumstick but is smaller, consists of dark meat, and is juicier than the rest of the wing while a drumstick is simply the bottom part of the chicken leg that is separate from the thigh of the chicken.
Read on to learn more about this amazing piece of chicken meat, how you can use it and how it is different from regular drumsticks!
Drumettes are a popular appetizer option at restaurants and in some cases, you might not even know that you’re eating drumettes because they are usually listed as “chicken lollipops”, “dynamite chicken wings”, or other fun names.
Where Is The Chicken Drumette Located?
Picture a full chicken wing. There are 3 main sections to the wing.
The top-most part is called the wingtip. This piece is popular in BBQs as it has a very unique and delicious flavor, especially when charred.
Below the wingtip is the wingette or the flat wing. This piece is what most people are familiar with and what everyone commonly refers to as the chicken wing but in reality, it is just the middle section of a full chicken wing.
Wingettes are prepared by deep frying them in batter and then mixing them with a range of sauces or more commonly, buffalo sauce!
The bottom-most part that connects the wing to the rest of the chicken is called the drumette which can be cooked and served in many ways. All 3 sections of the wing can be sold separately and each spawns its own unique dish!
What Does It Look Like?
The drumette looks more like the smaller brother of the humble drumstick and is usually half the size or smaller than regular drumsticks.
The best way to describe how it looks is to just imagine a regular drumstick but with less meat, a smaller size, and a predominately meaty top-end since that is where most of the chicken meat is located.
The bone is usually surrounded by a narrow layer of dark chicken meat that can be nibbled on.
The top part of the drumette is also usually attached with a joint with cartilage and ligaments that can be eaten whole with the dark chicken meat (unlike in drumsticks) which makes for a unique crunchy and chewy bite.
Drumettes consist of dark meat which has a distinct and enhanced chicken flavor. It tastes a bit different from regular drumsticks as they tend to be a bit milder in flavor due to the bulkiness of the meat.
As mentioned, you can also chow down on the joint of the drumette which makes for a unique chewy textured chicken piece. While it has little meat, it cooks better than regular drumsticks and absorbs marinades efficiently too.
You can’t go wrong with chicken drumsticks! This one piece of bone-in meat is perhaps one of the most widely consumed chicken meat in the world and is at the center of numerous succulent recipes.
Whether you fry, roast, broil, or steam drumsticks, with just a little marination you can turn this unassuming piece of chicken into something incredible.
Like drumettes, drumsticks also consist of juicy and tender dark meat that is perhaps best served deep-fried in a seasoned batter.
Where Is It Located?
Drumsticks are connected to the thigh of the chicken. The thigh is thought of as one whole piece but is in fact two pieces connected at the joint.
The top part is called the thigh and consists of 2 parts.
The spine is directly connected to the body of the chicken and consists of dark meat. It also has a gizzard located at the underside which can either be taken out before cooking or can be eaten whole.
Below the spine, you will find the femur. This part of the thigh holds the most meat and leads directly to the knee joint or the drumstick.
Dividing the thigh and drumstick is very easy as you only need to slice through the tendon and ligament with a very sharp knife.
The drumstick is considered to be the crown jewel of the chicken as it has very tender meat in contrast to the fibrous chicken breast meat which is usually dry but more nutritious and healthier due to its low-fat content.
The taste of the drumstick only slightly differs from the drumette as you get more bone-in meat. Drumsticks usually develop a crispy outer crust on the meat after it has been cooked.
The outermost layer catches on the most color since its directly exposed to heat. The layer beneath consists of tender whitish meat and is cooked via steam. Both layers have a meaty, delicious flavor!
Using Drumsticks And Drumettes In Recipes
Again, drumettes are used more as an appetizer since they are smaller while drumsticks can be served as part of the main course. Here are a few great recipes that highlight each use.
Let’s start with a classic appetizer recipe for chicken drumettes called Chicken Lollipops!
For this recipe you will need:
- Cream 2 tbs
- Red chili powder ½ tbs or to taste
- Black pepper powder ½ tsp
- Cumin powder 1 tsp
- Garlic powder 1 & ½ tsp
- Salt ½ tsp or to taste
- Onion powder 1 tsp
- Soy sauce 1 tsp
- Chicken wings ½ kg
- Eggs 2 Large
- Corn flour 3 tbs
- All-purpose flour 3 tbs
- Salt ¼ tsp or to taste
- Oil for frying the lollipops
Spicy Orange Sauce:
- Orange juice 1 Cup
- Sugar 2 ½ tbs or to taste
- Red chili crushed 1 tsp or to taste
- Garlic chopped 1 tbs
- Sriracha sauce 1 ½ tsp
- Chili garlic sauce 1 tsp
- Vinegar 1 tbs
- Salt ¼ tsp or to taste
- Sesame seeds 1 tsp
- Water 2-3 tbs or as required
- Corn flour 1 tsp
- We will first make the marinade. In a large bowl, add cream, red chili powder, black pepper powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, soy sauce, and mix well.
- Before marination, you will want to first shape the lollipop by cutting the chicken wing meat.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the meat at the center and go around it creating a ring. Push the meat down using your fingers to the top of the drumette. This will provide an incredible first bite and is one of the best ways to enjoy drumettes.
- Repeat this step for all the chicken drumettes.
- Marinate the lollipops in the spice mix for 30 minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, add eggs and whisk until foamy. Add cornflour, all-purpose flour, salt, and mix. This will be the coating mixture for the lollipops. Dip the lollipops from the meat end into the batter and coat generously.
- Heat a large pot with oil (canola or peanut) and fry the chicken lollipops until golden brown.
Spicy Orange Sauce:
- In a saucepan, add orange juice, sugar, crushed red chili, garlic, sriracha sauce, chili garlic sauce, vinegar, and salt and bring the mixture to boil.
- Add sesame seeds and dissolved cornflour and mix well. You can add more cornflour and water to get the right consistency.
- Serve with popping hot drumette lollipops and enjoy!
Spicy Saucy Drumsticks
Here’s a go-to recipe for drumsticks that take advantage of their size and meaty texture!
- Water 1 Cup
- Garlic paste 2 tsp
- Chicken drumsticks 7-9 (medium-sized)
- Rice flour ½ cup
- All-purpose flour 2 tbs
- Salt 1 tsp or to taste
- Ginger powder ½ tsp
- Cayenne pepper 1 tsp
- Cumin powder ½ tsp
- Oil for deep frying
- Butter 1 & ½ tbs
- Tomato ketchup ½ Cup
- Garlic paste 1 tbs
- Hot sauce 2-3 tbs
- Cumin Crushed 1 & ½ tsp
- Salt ¼ tsp or to taste
- Dried parsley 1 tsp
- Place deep cuts in the chicken legs on each side. Since the drumsticks have a meaty exterior, we will need to add cut marks so that the sauce can work its way inside.
- Cook the chicken in seasoned water by adding water and garlic paste to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the drumsticks. Cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes.
- In a separate large container, add rice flour, all-purpose flour, salt, ginger powder, cayenne pepper, cumin powder, and mix. Add the cooked drumsticks to this batter and coat them on all sides.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and deep fry the drum sticks for 3-5 minutes and put them aside.
- In a saucepan, add butter, tomato ketchup, garlic paste, hot sauce, cumin, salt, and dried parsley and mix. Add the fried drumsticks to this mixture, coat evenly, and serve with potato wedges or sautéed vegetables!
Drumettes make for an awesome bite-sized snack while drumsticks are meatier and larger which makes them perfect for all kinds of main-course recipes.
Now that you know the difference between the two here are a few related questions!
Is dark meat healthier than chicken breast meat?
Chicken breast meat is considered to be the healthier option as dark chicken meat contains more fat but, as a result, has more flavor than breast meat.
Can you cook drumettes the same way as drumsticks?
Both can be deep-fried and cooked the same way but since drumettes are usually 1/3rd the size of a drumstick, they don’t need to be cooked that long which means that you shouldn’t cook them together or longer than 5-8 minutes.
Can you use drumettes for broths?
Yes, the entire wing piece can be used for broths! Each section of the wing can either be divided or you can also just use drumettes for broths and soups. Shred the meat and add to soups for an even better tasting meal!
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