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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.