Lunch with a difference: Mexican Chicken Drumsticks

Fed up with sandwiches?

These are family-friendly and perfect for lunch, an afternoon snack, or as an appetiser.

My aim with this recipe was to give the chicken a light Mexican flavour but without being too spicy. I have used some jalapenos in the marinade but don’t worry – they impart their smoky flavour and then dissolve during the cooking process so you aren’t eating pieces of chilli.

I marinaded my chicken pieces for about 4 hours. If you have time then you could leave them in the fridge overnight before cooking. I think that an hour would be the minimum time required for the flavour to transfer, so try to keep that in mind when planning your cooking.

Also, the drumsticks that I bought were pretty big. I bought a 1.5kg/3 lbs pack from the supermarket and it contained 12 drumsticks. The longer cooking time given below was perfect for them so if you have smaller pieces then you might want to use the shorter time then test. The meat is cooked when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part and the resulting juices run clear.

Ingredients – serves 4-6:

  • 1.5kg/3 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon mild Mexican chilli powder
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped jalapenos (I used some from a jar)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (from a bottle is fine)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • Use a sharp knife and carefully make a couple of small slashes in the meat on each drumstick. This will help the marinade to get into the meat.
  • Put the cumin, oregano, coriander, chilli powder, onion, garlic, jalapenos, lime juice and oil into a large non-metallic bowl and mix.
  • Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to coat. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced/350F and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  • Cook for 50 minutes then turn the oven up to 200C/180C fan forced/390F and cook for a further 10-20 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. (The final cooking time will depend on the size of the drumsticks.)
  • Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 10 minutes. You can either serve warm or transfer to an airtight plastic container and refrigerate to eat for lunch the next day.
  • Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Lunch with a difference: Mexican Chicken Drumsticks

  1. Love how you used all these great flavors!

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