The more that I have pushed myself to experiment in the kitchen the less squeamish I have become about handling things like raw meat and/or poultry. However the thought of seasoning a dozen chicken drumsticks destined for the grill by rubbing a mixture of salt and pepper under their skin...it lacked appeal. So I conscripted by favourite sous-chef James to do the icky part for me. Okay. I may also have asked him to, you know, actually BBQ the chicken as well. But I did make the sauce, which was gorgeous. I whipped it up in the morning and it was a cinch.
It starts, as most good things do, with butter which I was pleased to find on hand at the cottage since this was one ingredient I hadn't thought to bring myself. I always have butter on hand but I know that many households do not, opting instead for various spreads that masquerade as butter. (If that sounded judgemental it might have been. A little. Don't get me started on Miracle Whip versus mayonnaise.) So. Melt the butter, add some chopped onion and stir. I was glad I was alone in the cottage during this step because while I love the smell of onions frying in butter I'm sure others could do without that particular odour on a (wet, soggy) Saturday morning. Next dump in some ketchup, molasses and brown sugar. A bit of wooster and yellow mustard join the party next followed by black pepper and chili powder. Stir, stir, stir, heat, heat, heat then add some bourbon. Or whatever you find in the alcohol cupboard at the cottage that approximates bourbon. Like whiskey. Done. Now, when you're actually ready to get dinner on the table you get your sous-chef to season and grill the chicken and slather on some sauce during the last few minutes of grilling. You end up with this:
I was very pleased with how this chicken turned out. I baked some chicken drumsticks a while back and while they were good they were nowhere near the same taste as these. I suspect that seasoning the chicken made a difference (thanks James!) and the sauce was certainly no slouch. You can definitely taste the molasses in this sauce but there is also a nice sweetness from the sugar, and the wooster shows up to play as well. It's quite rich. I put some aside to pass at the table but I think most people were satisfied by what came off the grill. These were definitely my favourite part of the cottage dinner table this year. Except, of course, for the people around the table.
Bourbon-Molasses Chicken Drumsticks - from Epicurious
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup minced onion
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
12 chicken drumsticks