Thu 9 Aug 2018
Read other related stories: indirect cooking , Meat , Poultry , Rub
SALT-FREE DRY RUBBED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS
You’ve likely heard about limiting your ingestion of chicken skin which can add unnecessary calories and saturated fat. On the flip-side, chicken skin also adds to the overall flavor and moisture of chicken. Here’s the thing: if you limit the amount of chicken skin you ingest, it contains a good amount of unsaturated fat that can be heart healthy, which you may not be benefiting from.
I’m going to give you a dry rub recipe that is salt-free to add in the healthy aspect of this recipe and includes some fat to the skin that will add flavor but also render off. Purchase chicken drumsticks and prepare the gas grill for this easy technique and super flavorful chicken you’ll want to be sure to make extras of.
Grill Set Up
Before starting the rub recipe, get the gas grill preheated by turning on only half the grills’ burners. That will be the side that we will add the wood chunks to while the side that remains off will be where the food will be placed. For the wood chunks, you can either place them directly on the heat shields, on the hot grill grate, or in a smoker box. Yes, that smoker box that you see advertised for wood chips is going to hold double filet wood chunks from SmokinLicious®.
Salt-Free Dry Rub
I’m balancing my salt-free dry rub flavor by incorporating a variety of ingredients:
- Whole allspice
- Ancho Chile pepper
- Curry powder
- Cocoa powder
- Fresh ground pepper
I always like to use a mortar and pestle when I make a rub as I usually have whole pods or seeds that need to be reduced. Once the rub is reduced to powder, I apply it to the drumsticks.
These I lay on a roasting rack placed in a disposable foil pan. This will allow the chicken to render without causing a mess to the grill and allow the smoke vapor produced by the wood chunks to rotate around the chicken.
A Little Fat Will Do
After the drumsticks are lined up on the roasting rack, I add a sprinkling of almond oil and 8 tablespoons of butter. These two items will allow the skin to crisp slightly. They also provide the moisture on the outside to attract the smoke vapor. If you want to skip this step, just keep a spray bottle of tepid water ready and you can moisten the chicken skin with a calorie-free alternative.
Make a Lot!
After cooking for about 35 minutes, flip each drumstick on the rack and check your wood. It will likely be black as the wood combusts and renders the flavonoids in the lignin that produce the great flavor. Close the lid and allow the chicken to cook an additional 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165°F. Be sure to make extra so you have a great go-to protein to feed you throughout the week.
What are your favorite ingredients to add to a dry rub? Leave us a comment and subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the flavor, that’s SmokinLicious®.