This simple recipe should become a staple of your game-day table. The apple cider vinegar and paprika lend the barbecue sauce a bright, smoky flavor. If your tailgate site doesn’t allow grills, prepare these drumsticks at home and reheat them on-site. This pairs particulary well with Wedge Salad on a Stick (pictured at left); see page 199 for the recipe.
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 cup finely chopped white onion (8 ounces)
• 4 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
• 2 cups ketchup
• 1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
• 16 chicken drumsticks (about 4 pounds)
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium. Add the onion, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, paprika, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Process with an immersion blender until smooth, and reserve 1⁄2 cup.
2. Preheat 1 side of a grill to medium-low (300°F to 350°F), leaving the other side unlit. Sprinkle the drumsticks with the remaining 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Place the drumsticks over the unlit side of the grill, and grill, covered, 20 minutes. Turn the drumsticks, brush with 1⁄2 cup barbecue sauce, and grill, covered, 20 minutes. Turn the drumsticks, brush with another 1⁄2 cup barbecue sauce, and grill, covered, until cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the drumsticks to the lit side of the grill, and grill until the skin is crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the reserved 1⁄2 cup sauce.