Easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken Legs with Cabbage Slaw
A complex marinade including ginger, lime, cinnamon and habaneros makes these oven-baked drumsticks delightfully savory with a spicy kick. A simple cabbage slaw, which comes together in minutes, is the perfect accompaniment.
Here's how we made over this recipe to be healthy and diabetes-friendly:
1. We use a marinade to add flavor. The marinade is made up of low-sodium soy sauce, fresh citrus juices and plenty of herbs and spices. Food science research tells us that only 12.5% of a liquid marinade can be absorbed into meat, so we know that most of the sodium in this marinade stays behind. This infuses the chicken with flavor while keeping it lower in sodium.
2. We opt for drumsticks over thighs. This keeps the portion size at two drumsticks per person. Choosing two drumsticks instead of a drumstick and a thigh saves 60 calories and 2 grams saturated fat. (One skin-on chicken thigh has 221 calories and 4.5 g saturated fat, while one skin-on drumstick has 161 calories and 2.5 g saturated fat.)
3. We serve the chicken with a side of vinegar-dressed cabbage slaw. Choosing slaw over a starchier side like rice or beans keeps carbs to a minimum. This simple slaw is made with a very light dressing, which adds just enough flavor but doesn't weigh down the cabbage. We also opt for bagged slaw mix, which cuts down on prep time and makes this side dish come together in minutes.
Having diabetes doesn't mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. You just need the know-how (and easy cooking tips) to make better choices. In Make Over My Recipe, a fun cooking show geared toward beginner cooks, Mila Clarke Buckley takes classics like mac and cheese, meatloaf, brownies and more comfort foods and uses simple tricks to make them healthier—but just as delicious as ever.
People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients.