“It’s not soda, it’s not pop–it’s Coke, no matter what brand or flavor.”
Mac ‘n’ Cheese Is a Vegetable … and 21 More Reasons Why We Love the Southland
A word of advice if you show up thirsty in Mississippi – don’t ask for a pop. Don’t ask for a soda. Ask for a Coke. It doesn’t matter if you really want a Sprite or a Dr. Pepper. We’ll get to that later.
Think of it like this way: How often do you ask for a tissue to wipe your nose? Or lip balm for your chapped lips? No, you ask for a Kleenex and some Chap-Stick. In the South, Coke is more than just a brand. It’s an all encompassing term used to describe any carbonated, syrup-sweetened beverage.
Last week, cookbook author Martha Hall Foose visited my local library to do a reading from her newest book, A Southerly Course, and a book signing. Martha’s first cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea not only won a James Beard award, but it is one of my favorite cookbooks. In fact, on this site I’ve probably written about more recipes from that book, like Blackberry Limeade, Lady Pea Salad, and Turnip Greens, than any other cookbook I own.
You may wonder how someone does reading from a cookbook. No, it did not involve reading recipes aloud. Martha’s books are intertwined with lovely stories of the South. Stories so descriptive, that if I didn’t already live here I would want to pack up my things and move here. Something about her stories makes me want to kick off my shoes, wiggle my toes, and spend an afternoon in a hammock with a glass of lemonade.
I chose this recipe from A Southerly Course because it was marinated in Coke. Or as Martha refers to it in her book, “Co-Cola.” Either pronunciation is perfectly acceptable around here.
- 1 (8 ounce) bottle soda
- ¼ cup diced onion
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Mix together first nine ingredients in a large bowl or resealable bag. Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove chicken and reserve remaining marinade. Bring reserved marinade and chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Continue to boil for 15-20 minutes.
- Arrange drumsticks on a large baking sheet and bake for 45-55 minutes, occasionally basting with reserved marinade mixture, until the skin is brown and crisp and juices run clear.