Legendary grill master Steven Raichlen’s recipe for maple-sriracha chicken drumsticks is a delicious, fan-friendly, cost-effective option for a football tailgate. “I like to think of the drumstick as a chicken wing with a handle,” says the Project Fire author. “Easy to eat — easier than wings —and easy on your wallet.”
12 large chicken drumsticks
1 Tbsp coarse salt (sea or kosher)
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp hot red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Place drumsticks in mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil, stirring to coat well.
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 Tbsp pure maple syrup
¼ cup sriracha, or more to taste
3 Tbsp Scotch whisky
Melt butter in saucepan over high heat, stir in maple syrup, sriracha and whisky. Boil until mixture is syrupy, 3-to-5 minutes.
On a charcoal grill, rake coals into two mounds at opposite sides of grill and cook chicken in center. On gas grill, light the outside burners and grill in center.
Add hardwood (two chunks or 1 ½ cups wood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes, then drained) to charcoal coals. On gas grill, make smoker pouch by folding heavy-duty aluminum foil over wood chips and poking holes in top to release smoke.
Ready, Set, Grill!
• Set up grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Before cooking, scrape grill grate clean and brush grill grate with vegetable oil.
• Arrange drumsticks rounded-side up in single layer in center of grill. Add wood to coals or smoker pouch under grill grate and over outside burners.
• Close grill lid. Indirect grill drumsticks until skin is crisp and well browned. Cook 40 to 50 minutes, to internal temperature of 170ºF.
• About 5 minutes before chicken is done, brush all sides with glaze. Repeat just before removing drumsticks from grill.
• Arrange drumsticks on platter and pour remaining glaze over them. Sprinkle with cilantro, chives or scallion greens and serve.
Excerpted from Project Fire by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Matthew Benson