Butter-Poached Shake & Bake Drumsticks

I have no excuse for this one. I just know, that you know, you want to eat it.

There’s a butter poaching technique I saw used on steaks – and I knew I wanted to try it immediately. But this poaching process is simplified. No removal of the fat solids. No monitoring the liquefied butter to ensure it remains at exactly 135*. And most importantly, no baby pool sized vat of melted butter. A couple of sticks will do just fine.

Poach what, though? I thought drumsticks, because I’ve been getting back into them. My parents used to make them for us all the time as kids. I loved Shake and Bake night. If I was lucky, I even got to do the shaking! Anyone else know what I’m talking about?

I’m not sure why I took such a long hiatus from drumsticks – because they are a perfect poultry cut. And unabashedly cheap.

I’m a dark meat person for life. I’ve never bit into a piece of dark meat that wasn’t moist and flavorful as hell. Even if it wasn’t cooked perfectly. A chicken breast? Yeah, you can overcook it. We’ve all made that mistake before.

The other flavor I incorporated is an unmistakably American snack staple. Cheddar and sour cream – specifically, that yummy, dairy-laden powder you taste on Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips.  My boyfriend and I snack on that stuff like fiends. And when crushed into granules, I couldn’t think of a more delicious coating to flavor chicken.

The longer you poach these drumsticks in the butter, meat exposed to the liquid, the better they will be.  Like any marinade, protein will assimilate whatever liquid it’s submerged in. Being careful to abide by an appropriate don’t-leave-chicken-outside-the-fridge-for-too-long span of time for poultry, I poached the chicken in butter for about an hour.

Don’t be wary about serving these butter-soaked haunches of meat – I think if you set the right tone for your eaters, as in, this is a special caloric occasion, everything will go over completely fine.

And use whatever potato chips you want for this. I don’t think you can top Cheddar & Sour Cream, but I’ve been wrong before.

What crunchy coatings have you used on baked chicken?  I’ll be making this again, probably sooner than I should. 😊


Serves 2.

  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 / 2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 / 2 of an 8 1 / 2 oz. bag of Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream potato chips
  • 2 sticks butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to *350.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan with high sides, that’s snug enough to fit the drumsticks in one layer.
  3. Remove the butter from the heat, wait until the butter is cooled, about 5 minutes, and submerge the chicken, letting the chicken sit in the butter for up to an hour, turning occasionally.
  4. In the meantime, crush the potato chips in a large Ziploc bag with a mallet or rolling pin. Add the panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper, seal the bag, and shake to combine.
  5. After an hour, remove the chicken from the butter and add the drumsticks to the Ziploc bag. Seal the bag, and shake until all pieces are coated.
  6. Place the drumsticks on a sheet pan, and bake for 1 hour, turning the pan half way through for even cooking.
  7. Serve hot.

4 thoughts on “Butter-Poached Shake & Bake Drumsticks

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