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. 
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 chicken drumsticks
  • Just under a gallon water
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the Rub:
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama) {affil link}, or to taste, optional
For the Root Beer Glaze:
  • 1/2 bottle Barq's, or your favorite root beer (roughly a cup)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pepper jelly or other jam/jelly
  • 1 teaspoon 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 Mary on July 1, 2010
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