The long weekend means one thing, and one thing only, to me this year. My kid-focused brain knows that this weekend signals the 2-week mark until my youngest graduates from elementary school and officially becomes a middle schooler.
In case anyone is keeping track, that means there will be two middle schoolers in the house. Hormone-o-rific!
Rather than wallowing along the long road to the empty nest syndrome that seems to be lingering ever closer (okay, we still have a few years to go), I thought it best to drown myself in thoughts of barbecue-friendly foods – pasta salads, massive green salads, cocktails, grilled sides and grilled corn on the cob.
Making and eating grilled foods 24/7 will make the middle school thing go away, right?
Chicken drumsticks and thighs grace our barbecue countless times throughout the grilling season. Unlike boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs and drumsticks are very forgiving if you cook them a minute too long. The natural moisture of the meat keeps them juicy and flavorful.
Chicken drumsticks always take me straight back to my childhood, when my dad would fire up the grill with a batch of barbecue chicken and I reveled in the fact that I could eat with my hands. In the spirit of holding onto youth, I decided to use chicken drumsticks for this recipe, which was inspired by my Pork Chops with Dijon Maple Sauce.
The maple dijon marinade has a good balance of sweetness and acidity. The flavors are better the longer you leave the chicken to marinate in the sauce, and the acid of the balsamic vinegar acts as a tenderizer for the meat.
The glaze may seem redundant because the flavors mirror those of the marinade, but don’t skip this step. The last-minute brush of flavor spiked with chili garlic sauce, takes these drumsticks from good to great!
Other healthy grilled recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Zucchini Roll with Goat Cheese, Roasted Peppers & Capers
Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Potatoes with Rosemary & Smoked Paprika
Foodiecrush’s Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Balsamic Grilled Peaches
Healthy Delicious’ Grilled Vegetable Panzanella
Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices
- 8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
- Place the chicken drumsticks in a large ziploc bag.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Pour the Dijon mustard mixture over the chicken, seal the bag and massage the chicken until coated with the sauce. Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat (about 375 degrees F). Lightly coat the grill with cooking spray.
- Place the chicken drumsticks on the grill and cook until the chicken is just cooked through, turning every 5 minutes, about 20 minutes total.
- Brush the chicken with the glaze. Cook for 1 minute, brush the other side with the glaze and cook for 1 minute. Serve.
- In a small bowl, stir together the Dijon mustard, maple syrup and chili garlic sauce.
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