This sauce is a perfect combination of sweet and tangy–it’s so good that I often triple the recipe when I make it so that I have plenty on hand for an impromptu midweek meal during the summer. Be sure to use a ketchup made with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.
(image and recipe courtesy of Key Ingredient)
3½ – 4½ pounds chicken drumsticks
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water
⅓ cup coarsely chopped onion (1 small)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
The day before: If desired, skin chicken. Divide chicken between two resealable plastic bags set in shallow dishes. For marinade, in a small bowl combine ½ cup lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bags; turn to coat chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning bags occasionally.
Meanwhile, for barbecue sauce, in a large saucepan combine the water, onion, butter, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and, if desired, cayenne pepper. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes or until desired consistency. Transfer to a storage container; cover and chill overnight.
Drain chicken, discarding marinade.
Prepare grill (with a cover). For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above pan. Place chicken on grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill for 50 to 60 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (180 degrees F). (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Grill as above.)
Meanwhile, transfer barbecue sauce to a medium disposable foil pan. After chicken has been grilling about 20 minutes, add barbecue sauce to grill to reheat. Brush chicken frequently with barbecue sauce during the last 10 minutes of grilling. Serve chicken with the remaining barbecue sauce. Provide moist towelettes when serving.