Smoky Jalapeno Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks #CIC

Grilled chicken drumsticks finished with a sweet and smoky jalapeno pepper barbecue sauce.
Smoky Jalapeño Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

Smoky Jalapeño Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

By  Sue Lau |  Palatable Pastime

It’s time for Crazy Ingredient Challenge and this month the theme is on combining apple juice and bell peppers. My first thought was to do a riff off a jalapeno jelly  glazed chicken I did years ago, since I could get something together with bell pepper, jalapeno and apple juice.

I just happened to have a bottle of Red Duck smoky ketchup  left from Burger Month  so threw a  bunch of  that in, making it a barbecue sauce since it had nice smoky flavor.

Funny, the first #CIC I did was barbecued chicken legs—> that one was mustard glazed with a Carolina type sauce.

I  enjoy making bbq sauce from scratch as I am rather good at it. I also enjoy chicken legs as well. You can’t beat the price and they usually stay nice  and moist.  It was the way I was raised. My mother enjoyed grilling bbq chicken as well. In the winter months she would make bbq chicken in the broiler  pan, and it was always well  received  by me.

I’ve  come to do  my  own outdoor grilling,  even in most winter months. This time around, it’s been raining quite a bit so it’s been hard to get this one  done. Cold may not bother me but rain can be rough. I grill and smoke with wood so it  is hard to get the fire started. I have a small grill that I can use  in light drizzle, but the rain was coming from the east for some reason and hosed my chances there. I might have put it in the smoker, since the pellets will  fire rain or not and I have a remote thermometer so I can stay dry, but I really don’t like the skin on smoked chicken. It’s alright if I am   going to rip all the outer skin off,  but  being smoked tends to be unpleasantly  leathery and not a bit crisp. So I do like  to do a sear then grill indirect on chicken like this.

Smoky Jalapeño Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

The sauce is  scratch  and I  use a food  processor to whiz the peppers up in a hurry. You can use a blender if you have to. On the red jalapenos- mine was not that hot, although one  I had put on  an upcoming kebab recipe was fiery. In this case,  just use one of two, and supplement the heat if you need to with ground jalapeno pepper or some jalapeno hot sauce rather than risk  making it too spicy to  eat.  Because once the peppers are ground up, there  is no turning back.

If you can,  try the Red Duck ketchup.  It is good- but if you can’t get that, since it is smoky, you  will probably need to expose your sauce to smoke which would mean cooking it on the grill to get the smoke in there. Either way it can be done with smoky ketchup or regular.

Smoky Jalapeño Barbecued Chicken DrumsticksMake sure to click the blue frog link  below  the recipe print to see the entire collection (not sure how many will be in this linkup).

Tomorrow I will be kicking off #BBQWeek with the Festive Foodies.  I have those kebabs I mentioned- in Tangerine Hatch Chile Honey Chicken Kebabs and some tips for using the sauce on other things,  such as fish and pork. There will also be a giveaway so make sure you sign up.


Smoky Jalapeno Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Smoky Jalapeño Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks
Yield: 1 cup sauce


  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1-2 red jalapeno peppers (depending how hot they are)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Red Duck smoky ketchup
  • 2.5-3 pounds chicken drumsticks/legs
  • salt and black pepper
  • olive oil


  1. Place the jalapeno, bell pepper and apple juice in a food processor and pulse until  peppers are  fine bits.
  2. Place liquid with the sugar, vinegar, and ketchup in a saucepan and cook  over low heat, stirring frequently,  until mixture is thick and reduced to one cup.
  3. Prepare grill for indirect grilling; heat to 400°F.
  4. Bring chicken to room temperature, then season chicken  drumsticks with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with oil.
  5. Place chicken on hot part of grill  for a couple minutes each side to get grill marks.
  6. Move chicken to the side of the hotter coals for indirect cooking.
  7. Cover grill and cook 30-40 minutes at 375°-400° until internal meat temperature reaches 165°F.
  8. Brush lightly with sauce and let char lightly over hotter part of grill; remove from  grill and let rest 5-10 minutes.
  9. Serve with additional sauce as desired.

From the kitchen of

CIC header

Crazy Ingredient Challenge

Apple Juice and Bell Pepper Recipes

Be sure to check out the other Crazy Ingredient Challenge Bloggers this month!

Click on the hop link button to be transported to the other recipes:

Barbecue Sauce and Buttermilk Recipes

If you want to be part of the challenge in the future, email lorisculinarycreations at hotmail dot com.

Smoky Jalapeño Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

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