Mario Batali's Spicy Black Pepper-Coated Drumsticks

Classic Drumsticks With a Twist

Host of "The Chew" whips up some spicy black pepper-coated drumsticks.
Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

These wings are drool-worthy dipped in the gorgonzola sauce. Make this for your family once and it will become a routine weeknight dinner.


  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce, preferably chipotle
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed in a spice or coffee grinder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Place the drumsticks on a baking sheet and season all over with salt. Bake unadorned for 20 minutes (25 minutes if your drumsticks are very large).

    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, Tabasco sauce, fennel seeds, and black pepper. Set a wire rack over a large plate or a small baking sheet.

    As soon as the drumsticks come out of the oven, toss them, in batches, into the buttermilk mixture and turn to coat, then place skin side up on the rack to drain. Spoon a little of the mixture, with the fennel seeds and pepper, over the top of each one, and set aside. (The drumsticks can be baked and marinated up to a day ahead; leave them on the rack, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before grilling.)

    Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

    Trim the fennel bulbs, cut lengthwise in half, and cut out most of the core. Cut into 1Ž4-inch-wide batonettes and toss into a bowl of ice water.

    Crumble the Gorgonzola into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the red wine vinegar and stir with the fork until fairly smooth. Drizzle in the oil, stirring, to make a dressing. Pour into one or more shallow bowls for dipping.

    Place the drumsticks on the hottest part of the grill, cover the grill, and cook, turning occasionally at first and then more often as they start to caramelize, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

    Put the drumsticks on a platter. Drain the fennel sticks, pat dry, and place on the platter next to the wings. Serve with the Gorgonzola dressing.

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Recipe courtesy Mario Batali.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: drumsticks, buttermilk, tabasco, gorgonzola, red wine vinegar

    Course: Dinner

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