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drumsticks with peach barbecue sauce (gf, df)

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Chicken Drumsticks with Peach Barbecue Sauce – You’re going to lick up every last drop of this sweet and tangy sauce that you can get.

Drumsticks with Peach Barbecue Sauce I One Lovely Life

Do you have a favorite celebrity chef? I tend to love the idea of someone like Ina Garten. She’s got this amazing, effortless style of entertaining that makes it seem so easy. I suppose I could achieve similar results if I lived in the Hamptons and had huge financial resources. So, although I really think she’s the sort of person I’d love to hug and eat lobster macaroni and mixed berry pavlova with, her food isn’t quite as “everyday accessible” to me.

Tyler Florence has surprised me recently. Last summer I read three or four of his cookbooks and found myself saying “wow, that looks great!” at almost every page. The other thing is that while his recipes might take an extra step or two, much of what he makes is real people food.

Drumsticks with Peach Barbecue Sauce I One Lovely Life  Drumsticks with Peach Barbecue Sauce I One Lovely Life

Take this meal, for example. Homemade peach barbecue sauce made in less than 30 minutes and a pretty short cook time on the chicken. I made the barbecue sauce a few days ahead of time which made my dinner prep REALLY simple. I put the chicken in a bag to brine a few hours before dinner, then tossed the drumsticks with my already-made barbecue sauce and tossed it in the oven.

I’ve modified his recipe a bit to suit our tastes–we don’t fancy a too-strong cumin flavor and we wanted to use drumsticks instead of two whole chickens (there ARE only two of us). I was BLOWN AWAY by the peach barbecue sauce. It wasn’t very peachy-tasting, just a subtle sweetness and an extra layer in the sauce. It was fantastic. I bet making it with homemade peach preserves would be divine. I might even try it with just straight up peach puree sometime. Also, this is another use for smoked paprika, if you’re looking for one after trying the smoked paprika potatoes I blogged about last week.

As it stands, I’ve now had two–count ’em two–sauce victories in a week’s time. First that amazing pizza sauce, now this lovely peach barbecue sauce. Michael is in heaven. I am too.

Notes on the recipe: The barbecue sauce recipe makes between 3.5-4 cups of sauce and can be made ahead of time. It will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator and can also be frozen and used later. I found the flavor actually improved when I made it ahead of time. Also, I removed the skin from the drumsticks to make it a bit healthier (and I don’t really care for the skin), but you could certainly leave it on if you prefer.

Drumsticks with Peach Barbecue Sauce I One Lovely Life

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Chicken Drumsticks with Peach BBQ Sauce

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  • Yield: 6 1x


Quick Tips: The barbecue sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator and can be made ahead of time to speed things up on the day you plan to make this.


  • 2 1/23 pounds chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • brine
  • peach bbq sauce

For the brine:

  • 4c water
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt (coarse salt)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme

For the sauce:

  • 2 slices bacon*
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme (pull out a few sprigs for brine)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2c ketchup (I prefer no high-fructose corn syrup)
  • 1c peach preserves*
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  • 1/4c molasses
  • 2 Tbsp red wine or cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • pinch (up to 1/8 tsp) cumin


  1. For the brine, combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized zip top bag. Add drumsticks to the brine and refrigerate 30min-2hrs before cooking.
  2. *For barbecue sauce, wrap the bunch of thyme with the strips of bacon. Brown bacon/thyme bunch in a small drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven for 4-5 minutes. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. You should have 3.5-4 cups of sauce.
  3. When ready to cook chicken, remove drumsticks from brine (discard brine). Toss with 1-2c barbecue sauce in a large bowl. Spread drumsticks over a large cookie sheet covered with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray to prevent sticking.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through.
  5. Serve with extra sauce.


*For gluten free version: double-check that your bacon and jam are gluten free. Most are, but you’ll want to check. I like Hormel Naturals Uncured bacon. It’s gluten and dairy free and has no nitrates/nitrites.

Adapted from Tyler Florence, Tyler’s Ultimate

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  1. Emily, I do have a favorite chef : Jamie Oliver- he likes the healthy way of cooking. I love your homemade pizza sauce and now this amazing peach barbecue sauce. I can’t wait to try them both. Now what will you come up with next from scratch?
    Thanks for sharing your recipes!


  2. I’ve just made your bbq sauce, but used strawberry preserves instead of peach. Let me tell you, it came out amazing! Plus, it’s really easy to prepare and doesn’t need a lot of babysitting. I will be using your recipe as a base for more experiments – the next batch I’m planning to do with smoked plum puree. Thanks!

  3. This looks really good! I can’t wait to make it! Your photos have me wanting to rush out and get the ingredients right now. I’m getting everything I need for this on my next grocery run which will be tomorrow. So….I may just make this on Sunday!

  4. I made this recipe tonight; I found it searching for peach dinner ideas. I used a fresh peach blanched and peeled. I ran the whole mix through the blender to smooth it all out. My whole family really loved it and wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t think I would use the preserves…. more unnecessary sugar . I doubled the bacon and onion because I doubled the recipe; probably added more cumin and thyme than the recipe called for simply because I love those flavours. 🙂 I served it with a brown rice mix of celery, carrots, green beans, black beans, corn seasoned with cumin, milled corriander, sea salt and pepper. Left overs tomorow! Yum thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

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