|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
You can use bottled barbecue sauce, and then this is a super fast and easy weeknight dinner (1 bottle, or about 2 cups, should be the right amount for this number of drumsticks).
Or you can make this very easy homemade barbecue sauce, adapted from Stephen Raichlen’s barbecue sauce recipe in his indispensable book How to Grill. It takes about 5 minutes to put together, and just 10 to 15 minutes to simmer. If you transfer the sauce to a clean jar and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months.
Drumsticks are one of the least expensive cuts of chicken you can buy, and of course, kids love them because they are meant to be eaten out of hand. They are cheap because they are the dark meat parts of the chicken, and in general many people prefer white meat, but to skip the dark meat is really to miss out. When they are on sale, you will be amazed at how economical a big batch of drumsticks can be–and they look very nice piled up for a party.
Cooking the chicken at a low temperature allows the meat to become tender and stay juicy, without the barbecue sauce turning too brown, and possibly burning. Make sure to line the baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray that with nonstick cooking spray, both to prevent sticking and also (maybe more importantly!) to make clean up a snap.
- Barbecue Sauce (or use 1 bottle/2 cups bottled sauce):
- 2 cups ketchup
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite barbecue rub
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 15 drumsticks (about 4 pounds)
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until dark, thick, and richly flavored 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the chicken drumsticks into a large bowl, and pour over the sauce. Toss the chicken in the sauce until well coated. Using tongs transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet, leaving any remaining sauce in the bowl. Make sure the drumsticks aren’t touching.
Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, basting once midway through the baking time with the remaining sauce in the bowl. Bake until the chicken is fully cooked through and the outside has a nice glaze. Serve hot or at room temperature (though there’s nothing wrong with a cold barbecued chicken leg!).
Simple baked chicken legs are another simple, kid-friendly dinnertime option.