When I was a kid, my dad used to buy whole chickens and cut them into parts for future grilling. It saved money and I think he really enjoyed doing it. He would always put on a show for us…pretend like the chicken was walking along and talking before slicing him to pieces. Classic material, funny stuff.
My point in sharing that story is that I grew up with GOOD bbq chicken. Bone in. Skin on. Juicy, tender, and yummy. You don’t have to go through the trouble of buying whole chickens and cutting them up like my dad did – they sell them ready to go for you – and it’s cheap! This is an easy way to make your bbq chicken extraordinary. What you’ll need: Package of Chicken Drummies, Basic Brine or Italian Dressing, Basic Chicken Rub, Your Favorite BBQ Sauce.
First step — Brine. At least an hour, up to several hours. If you don’t have time, toss them in a bag or container with Italian dressing. This is my fallback classic marinade for chicken. I love Italian dressing. I buy it in bulk at Sam’s.
Get your fire set for all surface direct cooking – no indirect this time. I’ll address that in another recipe. You want a good, hot grill. Not scalding – you don’t want to sear or burn the drummies. You want a temperature around 250 – 300. So maybe you’re looking at 30ish coals, spread in an even layer. And yes, I would throw on a piece of wood or handful of chips. Why wouldn’t you? Fear of good flavor? C’mon. Do it.
Once your drummies have been soaking in dressing for 30 – 60 minutes (or in the brine for several hours), take them out and lay them on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle all over with Basic Chicken Rub or seasoning of your choice.
Put your chicken drummies on the grill. Be careful not to burn the skin. You’ll want to roll them to ensure every side of the rounded drummie gets thoroughly cooked without burning the skin. They should cook for 2 beers or so…maybe 25 – 30 minutes. (Internal Temp of 165)
When the drummies are firming up but not hard, go ahead and put on some sauce.
Turn, more sauce. You want a nice caramelized layer – it only takes 3-4 minutes on each side. Otherwise it will just burn.
Remember, the key to basting on the grill is just a thin layer at the very end. You can always add more (to your liking) once it’s off the grill. This is a huge mistake I see over and over again – repetitive saucing that burns the chicken and dries out the meat.
Chicken can be very juicy if you cook it right. Having the skin on and brining/marinating will help tremendously, but you still have to be careful not to overcook. It doesn’t have to be dry and burnt just because that’s the way it has always been.
My kids love eating these drummies as much as I do. It’s a tasty and easy grilled treat you can make during the week. Enjoy!