Thursday, July 1, 2010

Root Beer Glazed Drumsticks

Grilled chicken is first brined in a salt water solution, then given a light rub, and finally glazed with a root beer reduction.

Root Beer Glazed Drumsticks

I have been wanting to get a root beer glaze up for awhile and finally got around to it - just in time for the 4th! You can use whatever chicken parts you prefer, drumsticks just happen to be my most favorite part of the chicken - so juicy, tender, and full of flavor, especially with a brine.

I wrote the recipe using Barq's root beer in the bottle - as in glass bottle, not plastic bottle - because frankly I grew up on it and think that it is the best root beer there is. I realize some of you will dispute this. I also realize it's not likely available except for down here, and believe me, it's getting a bit hard to come by in the bottle even here anymore. Substitute your favorite root beer.

Knowing that the root beer reduction would be pretty sweet and would only be used as a quick mop at the end, I went ahead and did a dry rub also to sort of counter that sweetness a bit.  I just did not let it dry marinade but about 30 minutes, though longer would certainly be fine. They melded together well and I was very pleased with the outcome.

Directions here are written for a gas grill, because that is my tool of choice, so adjust as needed for yours. You'll want to cook it until juices run clear when pierced and the internal temperature registers about 165/170 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Here's how to make it.

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Recipe: Root Beer Glazed Drumsticks

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Inactive time: 2 hours 30 min |Cook time: 25 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


For the Brine:
  • 4.5 pound package of chicken drumsticks
  • Just under a gallon of water
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the Rub:
  • 1/4 cup of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
For the Root Beer Glaze:
  • 1/2 bottle of Barq's, or your favorite root beer (roughly a cup)
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of pepper jelly or other jam/jelly
  • 1 teaspoon of spicy mustard

For the brine, whisk together the salt and sugar with the water until dissolved. Place chicken into a zipper bag and pour the brine over, seal, set in a container and refrigerate for two hours. Drain, rinse well, and pat dry.

Mix together the rub ingredients and rub all over the chicken. Loosely cover and let sit in refrigerator until needed, or at least 30 minutes.

For the glaze, combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced and thickened. Hold over very low heat until needed.

For the Gas Grill: Preheat grill 10 minutes with all burners on high. Oil the grates and sear the chicken over direct heat on high, about a half minute per side. Turn all but one burner down to medium/medium low and move the chicken to the cooler part of the grill. Grill a total of about 20 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced, and the internal temperature registers about 165/170 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Turn a quarter turn about every 5 minutes while cooking and brush with the warm glaze the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Can also be baked at 350 degrees F for about 40 to 45 minutes or until done, turning often. Adjust time as needed for different cuts of chicken.


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Posted by on July 1, 2010
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  1. I like chicken, I like root beer, I like BBQ sauce, I like rub, I like to grill, surely I'll like this - looks delicious.

  2. This sounds seriously delicious. There is nothing here not to like. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Yum! Thanks! You're right--Barq's is a bit hard to come by, but we have several hand-crafted root beers in my area that would be great in this recipe.

  4. we never get it in the glass here, but we do get another brand - IBC which is pretty darn good here in South Texas, thanks I will be making this Sunday!

  5. oh mary, that looks delicious, gonna have to make that, especially since my son's LOVE root beer!!

  6. Mary: This looks like total deliciousness! I made a pulled pork dish yesterday. It's done in the slow cooker in root beer!! I'll post it later. In the meantime, I'm bookmarking the drumsticks!


  7. Hi Mary,
    I bet my boys would love this! They have always loved root beer. Thanks for the recipe! Have a great 4th of July!

  8. Nice Mary, very nice. Gotta try this one before my dear son leaves me again!

  9. What a great recipe! Good work, Mary! Barq's happens to be my favorite root beer too...despite all of my childhood trips to the A&W rootbeer stand.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Oh yum- I've seen other meats(ribs) cooked in root beer, and they look so good. this chicken sounds delicious Mary!
    Have a great 4th!

  11. Barq's is the best, hands down! Love this recipe!

  12. I fixed these goodies, last night. The kids couln't get enough. I should have fixed a double recipe. Thanks for the yummy drumstick recipe.

  13. Delicious sounding chicken, I'm going to try this on my grill. The boys will love it and I have 4 chickens to cook. Wonder how it would do on a rotisserie as a glaze. Hmmmmmm

  14. Oh, on chicken, that makes more sense. When I saw drumsticks in the title I was thinking of the ice cream cone drumsticks--kind of like a float?

    Stopping by from SITS.

  15. Wow, this looks so good! I know my husband will love it. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Hi, since it's winter time I was going to bake the chicken instead. Do I put the glaze on and bake the whole time, or do I add the glaze on the chicken toward the end?

    1. Bake the chicken just with the rub and start brushing with the glaze about halfway through.


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