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Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 | 2 comments

Sticky Citrus Chicken Drumsticks

Sticky Citrus Chicken Drumsticks

Let me just start this whole recipe by saying….

Sticky Citrus Grilled Drumsticks by sixtyone45

…. I am NOT a fan of these pictures. Not even a little bit.

Let me apologize (even thought I am supposed trying to do less of that in 2013) because I fear my mandatory-English-101-class writing ability will not do justice to the deliciousness that these drums were. I can come up with every adjective in the book but – in my humble opinion – a good recipe needs a good picture. Or you need to be here in my kitchen eating with me. But for most of you, that’s a logistical issue. And it might be weird. We’ve just met.

Sticky Citrus Grilled Drumsticks by sixtyone45

These drumsticks arose from a very tense football game when sixtyone45’s favourite team – sadly not one playing today in the BIG GAME– lost a crazy nail biter. My Mr. is a nervous cooker. While some may light up a cigarette or knock back a drink, my armchair QB other half grills. Chicken. Lots and lots of chicken. (and in full disclosure he likely knocked back a hoppy liquid or two as well). Given it was a Sunday morning around 11am and there was no way he was leaving the house (glad we invested the $$ in a DVR with pause capability..for the GARAGE TV) he was determined to whip up something with what we had. Which by Sunday morning, is often not much.

Sticky Citrus Grilled Drumsticks by sixtyone45

Over the past year or so we have cleared most of the pre-mixed condiments out the house in favour of more whole ingredients. We used to be big consumers of the BBQ sauce, but now you won’t find it in our fridge. Tooooo many ingredients that I don’t understand why they are there. (with the exception of BBQ sauce gods House of Q, two words. Apple. Butter.) So this means getting a bit more creative with what’s around.

What we DID have was orange juice. And maple syrup. And chicken. Perfect.

Sticky Citrus Grilled Drumsticks by sixtyone45

The orange juice is mellowed with maple syrup and then the sweetness is cut with some whole fresh herbs & worcesterchire. Reducing it to almost a syrup consistency intensifies all the flavours and creates a perfect basting sauce for the grill. They were sweet but the fresh thyme made them the right balance of savoury. Super easy. The sauce would also be a nice accompaniment to a hearty white fish as well.

Sticky Citrus Grilled Drumsticks by sixtyone45

So back to the pictures.  On this day, I bite into one drumstick and say to Mister…stop everything. These are delicious. I need to shoot these. He says, you have ten minutes. (He remembers it differently but I am pretty sure I am always right)  And given we were pretty much eating them off of paper plates in the man cave/garage, I wasn’t working with much from a food styling perspective. I really debated posting them but it’s the kind of recipe I would share with a friend or make for guests so this seemed like a good place. I hope you can look deeper into the pictures and imagine sticky-finger-licking-tangy-juicy-grilled goodness.

These shots may not be the best but I thought that once about some other pictures and it turned out to a be a pretty popular recipe. I am learning to put some of the perfectionism aside and to not lose sight of why I post things here….

Sticky Citrus Grilled Drumsticks by sixtyone45

…because they taste good.


Sticky Citrus Grilled Drumsticks

10 chicken drumsticks
1 tsp ground sea salt
2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
3 cups orange juice (not from concentrate)
1 Tbsp Worcesterchire Sauce
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
3 – 5 springs of fresh thyme
1 tsp cracked chillies
1 green onion, chopped for garnish

1. Heat grill to medium low heat. (Bone in chicken should be cooked very slow and low on a grill)
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and put on the grill. Turning frequently. This will take at least 30 – 40 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, bring the orange juice, worcesterchire & maple syrup to a boil. Then reduce to an active simmer. Drop in the fresh herbs, stems and all and the dried chilli flakes at this time to.
4. Simmer the sauce until it reduces significantly in volume, becomes darker and thicker in consistency. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
5. When the chicken is about 80 – 90% cooked (about 30 to 40 minutes), start basting with the sauce. Do not put it on too early or it will burn. Continue to baste and turn chicken actively until chicken is done and you have well coated, sticky drums.
6. Garnish with chopped green onion.



  1. i think they are beautiful pictures! this is such a great recipe i will try this. how do you do the pictures with the space in the background?

  2. Think the pictures are great. I don’t normally buy maple syrup and don’t necessarily want to for just this recipe. Is there a substitute I can use instead or just leave it out?


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