Spiced-up chicken drumsticks with shiitake mushrooms, green onions and Bourbon


Chicken legs or drumsticks, marinated in a flavorful paste of spices and herbs, pan-grilled with shiitake mushrooms, green onions and a final flourish of Bourbon.

Chicken drumsticks or chicken legs are my daughter’s favorite cut of the bird. So I always pick them up on a regular basis from our local store and devise ways of cooking them. I try to stick to easy methods and concoct marinades, whose ingredients did condiments, come straight out of my kitchen pantry, fridge and good ‘ol masala box. Vinegar, spices used in my everyday Indian cooking, chillies, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, the ubiquitous Worcestershire sauce, which I always tend to add in my marinades, and the list can go on.

One of my favorite ways to cook chicken legs and thighs, is using a Harissa paste which I whip up in my handy-dandy food processor. I have a recipe on my blog which I posted some time back, Harissa pan-grilled chicken. In this recipe, I have used the same spices and condiments and gone a step further by adding some fresh herbs, shiitake mushrooms, green onions and hold your horses, a splash of good ‘ol Kentucky Bourbon. Just a dash of alcohol in the very end, to scrape up all the pan drippings and juices. Bourbon, is an American whisky, which has its roots in the Southern states of America, particularly Kentucky. It’s bold and earthy, just a wee splash of it, will certainly not convert this dish into Drunken Chicken!:-)

I’ve pan grilled the chicken, cooks pretty fast, especially if one marinates the chicken for a few hours. Add the shiitakes, green onions and Bourbon toward the end of the cooking process. And there you have it, my friends, my spiced-up drumsticks 🙂

Ingredients :

5 chicken legs, with skins removed. One can keep the skin on too. It’s just that my family finds the skin too ‘slimy’! Personally, there’s nothing better than crispy skin-on grilled chicken 🙂

3/4 tsp.cumin seeds

1 tsp.coriander seeds

1/2 tsp.fennel seeds

1 small cinnamon stick

1 dried Ancho or Pasilla chile. It’s a mild Mexican chile. Or our very own Indian Kashmiri red chile

* Add a bit of minced jalapeño or Serrano chile, for added heat, if you like.

1 tsp.paprika

2 garlic cloves

Juice of a lime

1 tsp maple syrup, honey or dark brown sugar

1 tbsp.apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

A couple of stalks of green onions. Plus, some of the green part chopped, for garnish.

A sprig of fresh thyme

A handful Shiitake mushrooms. Wash and pat dry. Remove stems and slice.

Bourbon whisky

Dry roast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a small pan for a couple of minutes. Keep a watch, so as not to burn them!


When cool, add to food processor. Add the remaining spices and condiments, green onions and thyme. Except the mushrooms and Bourbon. Grind to a paste. Add salt.



Make slits in the chicken legs. Marinade the chicken legs, for up to 4 hours.

Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken legs, sear for a couple of minutes on each side. Lower heat,cover and simmer till chicken is nearly cooked. Add the mushrooms.


Cook till chicken is cooked and mushrooms are tender. Season with salt.


Add a splash of Bourbon, and mix well, scraping the bits and pieces off the bottom. Garnish with green onions. Serve.







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