Oven crisp chicken legs and peanuts made into an easy freezer meal with a tasty salty, sweet, and spicy Kung Pao marinade.
Freezer meals, like these Kung Pao Chicken Drumsticks, are a home cook’s best friend when times are hectic, busy, back-to-school, doing a DIY project or just too tired to deal with meal prep. Freezer meals take away the worry out of “what’s for dinner”? That definitely works for me!
We’ve been remodeling some rooms in our house by changing out old carpet for hardwood floors, re-painting and adding new light fixtures. It’s been a life saver at the end of the day to just head to the freezer where meals are already prepped and ready to pop in the oven.
I never remember to take anything out to thaw – so it’s amazing that this meal (packed in a plastic bag) can just be tossed in the microwave to thaw before baking. No mess, no fuss.
Ingredients needed for Kung Pao Chicken Drumsticks Freezer Meal
*This recipe calls for 2 pounds of chicken drumsticks, which is about 8 skin-on legs. The nutrition info assumes that this makes 4 serves, or 2 drumsticks per serving.
- Chicken Drumsticks – to mix it up, you can substitute chicken thighs or bone in, skin on chicken breasts. The cooking time may be longer or shorter depending on the thickness and cut of chicken parts you choose.
- Chicken Broth – we mix our own using Better than Bouillon. The roasted chicken variety has totally amazing flavor.
- Soy Sauce – we think this brand is the best tasting soy sauce out there!
- Rice Vinegar – be sure to use regular brewed rice vinegar, not the flavored variety.
- Sugar – regular white granulated sugar.
- Garlic Chili Sauce – we use this in almost all of our Asian recipes…especially to make sauce. Yum!
- Toasted Sesame Oil – adds nutty sesame flavor.
Talk about easy. Just use a fork or tongs to transfer the chicken legs from the bag to the pan, then throw in the oven.
My favorite way to cook meat in the oven is to use a large cast iron skillet like this 15-inch one. It gets super hot to crisp the meat and has a handle to easily take it in and out of the oven, not to mention it’s already seasoned – so no need to grease the pan. It’ll also hold a full pound of cooked pasta, so your baked pasta recipes are a breeze.
More Easy Freezer Meal Ideas
- Korean Barbecue Beef
- Asian Barbecue Chicken Bake
- Sweet Spicy Chicken
- Cheese Steak with Peppers
- Freezer Meal Beef and Gravy
Kung Pao Chicken Drumsticks
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks skin on
For the Marinade:
- 2 tbsp chopped peanuts optional
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley or cilantro optional
- Place chicken legs in large freezer bag or container.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Pour over the chicken.
- Remove as much air as possible from bag and seal. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Cook Now or Later:
- Thaw in refrigerator up to two days prior to cooking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease oven-safe skillet or baking pan.
- Arrange chicken in baking dish and discard remaining marinade. Bake on center rack of oven for 35 – 45 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of drumstick reads at least 165°F.
- Garnish with peanuts and chopped herbs and serve hot.
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