We do not own a barbecue. I'm not kidding. At one time, when I first met my husband 20 years ago, he had some old barbecue that the foster kids living with him used, but as the years went by and we married then moved, it died in there somewhere. We never did replace it because even though I like the idea of having one, we always needed to spend the money somewhere else.
Instead I have coveted other people's barbecues and the food that comes off of them.
Awhile ago I featured these chicken legs in a meal plan and then, so intrigued by the picture, I decided to make them. It's difficult having a husband who only eats chicken-I swear that I can convert almost any recipe that uses ground beef to one with turkey, and have tried 1001 and one ways to cook poultry. A possible cookbook, perhaps? I can see the cover now-all of us would be covered with feathers.
These chicken legs are hands down the very BEST chicken legs I have ever tasted, and thankfully for people like me who don't have a barbecue, you make them right in your oven. Barbecue sauce typically is pretty high in sugar and sodium, but the beauty with this is that you can tweak it to your heart's content. No pre-made barbecue sauce even comes to close to this recipe, plus it's so easy, you'll never miss the bottled stuff at all. This recipe also halves beautifully. Please read through the entire recipe before you start, because I have included some food safe advice about sauces and chicken in the method. I don't want you guys getting sick!
Tip: Leftovers are amazing in a lunchbox, but don't forget to include the napkins!
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
18 chicken drumsticks, with skin
1/4 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup (you could use low sodium)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp vinegar (less to taste-start with two and add more if you need it)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup molasses
1-4 Tbsp Abodo sauce, to taste (the sauce that chipolte peppers are packed in. You can buy it by itself too if you can find it in the Mexican food section.)
Pre-heat the oven to 450 F.
Line a roasting pan with foil and place the drumsticks on the pan. Roast for about 20 minutes, turning half way through.
Meanwhile, add a little oil to a fry pan and saute the garlic and onion until they are soft. Add the other ingredients and stir well, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes.
When the drumsticks are finished roasting and are cooked through, turn the oven to broil and move the rack a bit closer to the element, then watch the drumsticks carefully and turn them while the skin gets browned and crispy. Tongs are really handy for this.
When the skin is browned and crispy, remove the chicken from the oven. Using the tongs, dip each drumstick in the sauce so to coat it completely, and put back on the broiling pan. Once all the drumsticks have been dunked, turn the oven on to 350 F and put the chicken back in the oven. At this point, the sugar in the sauce will start to bubble and caramelize somewhat-I left the drumsticks in the oven for about 10 minutes, slathering them with more sauce if I felt they needed it and watching carefully so that they didn't burn. ** See food safe note below about the sauce**
Makes 18 chicken drumsticks, enough to serve 8 people
** Food safe note about the sauce: Once you have dunked your chicken in the sauce, you can NOT serve the sauce nor should serve the chicken with a final slathering of it unless you've put the chicken under the broiler for a bit until it bubbles for awhile. If you wish to have extra sauce on the side, remove some from the pan BEFORE YOU DUNK THE CHICKEN. ***