If you’re new to grilling, the perfect place to start is with a chicken drumstick. I’ve grilled so many drumsticks I could have set them up in my driveway in military formation and marched them down the street playing the Star Spangled Banner.
Drumsticks are forgiving because they have a nice ratio of skin to meat. The skin protects the meat like sun block. Drumsticks are also relatively cheap. I picked up a six-pack at the grocery store the other day on sale for $2.50.
The key to cooking great drumsticks is a digital thermometer, so I recommend you spend a bit more to get one. They are about $20 and worth every penny you’ll spend. They take the guesswork out of wondering if your meat is done and if you’re a beginner, that is the number one concern.
And I know you’re looking at the grilled corn in the background of the photo and you’re wondering, “Hey, how do I do that?” I recommend white corn on the cob – we prefer Silver Queen in the South – and take off the husks and silk. Brush the ears with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the ears on the grill set to medium high heat and just turn them until they’re nicely charred. Yes, you can use yellow corn. It’s just not done in the South, but I won’t judge you.
Chipotle drumsticks pack a little heat and a little sweet.
- ¼ cup chipotle chili powder
- 1/8 cup cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 chicken drumsticks
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup peach jam
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Mix together the chipotle chili powder, cumin, coriander and salt. Toast the spice mixture in a small dry sauté pan for one minute to intensify the flavors. Set aside and cool completely.
- Preheat the grill for indirect cooking, with one side turned to medium and the other turned off.
- Wash and pat dry the chicken legs. Brush the legs with olive oil and sprinkle with some the spice mixture to evenly coat the drumsticks.
- Grill the drumsticks until they are a nice uniform brown with char marks, turning occasionally, for about 8 minutes. When they are nicely browned, move them to the indirect part of the grill, shut the lid and continue cooking until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees as measured with a digital thermometer in the thickest part of the meat (not touching the bone).
- While the drumsticks are grilling, mix together the peach jam, ketchup, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan until the jelly has melted and the ingredients are well blended.
- Move the drumsticks back to direct heat and brush them with the sauce. Leave the drumsticks on the grill another minute or two to let the sauce set to a glaze-like consistency.
The spice blend yields more than you need for this recipe. Store the remainder in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and use it to season chicken breasts, pork tenderloin or fish.
If you want to add smoky flavor to your drumsticks, try using the Char-Broil Smoker Boxes. Just add a smoker box with your favorite wood to the heated grill. When you shut the lid you have a smoker. I recommend apple, cherry or maple wood for chicken.