This post should be called ‘The Chicken Drumsticks That Wouldn’t Thaw’. Two days after I removed the drumsticks from the freezer and placed them in the fridge, they were still icy. Ditto the third day AND the fourth! Princely Spouse said they shouldn’t be in a container with other frozen meats, they were keeping each other very cold. Once they were separated they began to thaw and Day 5 we finally were able to grill them.
In the meantime we had put the drumsticks into a marinade on Day 4, when they were still a bit frozen. I found a blogger’s recipe that claimed it was the Best Ever marinade, and was just curious enough to see if that was true. I’m always willing to try a new marinade and I happened to have all 10 ingredients on hand. Nothing too exotic, just some basic things I’d usually put in a marinade.
We collected the ingredients and placed them on the counter with a mixing pitcher. I called out the amounts as my P.S. measured them into the pitcher.
Then he whisked well. The marinade doesn’t really stay mixed or emulsify, but the ingredients like sugar gets mixed in.
He placed the drumsticks into a zippered bag, sitting in a plastic container. He poured half of the marinade into the bag and zipped it shut. He turned the bag over a few times to make sure all of the legs were covered in marinade. I made a mental note to wander out several times to turn the bag in the fridge. We’d be grilling them the next evening.
I poured the remaining half of the marinade into an empty glass bottle and placed it into the fridge for another grilling time. If we’d been grilling more chicken we could have used it all. But with just 2 of us for dinner 6 drumsticks was enough.
The next evening my P.S. grilled the drumsticks for dinner. I arrived home and they were fresh off the grill and smelling wonderful. We served them up with some pasta salad and sat down to see if they WERE truly the best ever.
Yes! This marinade takes me back to my childhood. It smells like the basted chicken my dad used to grill. I don’t remember him ever marinating meat but he was good at basting with a brush. I’m not sure why it reminds me of his grilling, specifically, but it is truly excellent. It is really the flavor I dream of when I think “grilled chicken”.
There’s a hint of sweetness, a hint of acid, and lots of other flavors melded with the taste of the chicken. We loved it! The flavor experience was all too brief with just 3 drumsticks each. I can’t wait to try it with something of substance, like chicken breasts. Next goal!
Note: 3 months later I used the marinade and it was still awesome. I brushed it all over a pan of chicken drumsticks again and baked them for an hour at 350°F. Grilling was over for the season, it was too cold and windy to stand outside and grill Up North. But I wanted to tell you the marinade was so amazing even when used in the oven. It’s like you can’t make anything bad with this stuff! It truly earned a place on my list of Best Evers!
The Best Ever Grilled Chicken Marinade
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 6 chicken breasts or 3.5 lb chicken (I used 6 chicken drumsticks)
Measure ingredients into a bowl and whisk well. Add drumsticks to a zippered bag and pour half of mixture in. If you use breasts or more pieces use all of marinade.
Turn several times to coat evenly. Place bag in a container for protection against leaks.
Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Grill chicken drumsticks until done then salt before serving. Always salt after grilling instead of in the marinade to prevent the chicken from drying out. I found the drumsticks needed a good amount of salt after grilling.
Store any remaining marinade in a bottle for next time you grill.
Adapted from Aunt Bee’s Recipes