To me there’s nothing more satisfying than some slowly cooked barbecued chicken legs slathered in barbecue sauce. When I was in college this was a main staple of my diet, because of the economical nature of the protein. The flavor to dollar ratio is very high.

Cheap it is, but there are many ways you can mess this dish up.

First and foremost, never baste the legs in barbecue sauce before the last five minutes of cooking. Barbecue sauce is full of sugar, and this will burn quickly over an open flame. Also, don’t use that store-bought sauce full of fake smoke.

Also, you need to cook over a medium to medium low flame on gas or half a charcoal chimney on a Webber. Chicken fat dripping is a volatile incendiary, that can char your legs before you realize you have a problem…lower heat mitigates this problem.

Make sure you cook the legs thoroughly. This may take 30 to 45 minutes, but it’s worth it to have tender legs.


Best BBQ sauce (recipe follows)
Chicken legs to satisfy your crowd
liberal salt and pepper


Heat your barbecue to medium heat.

Add your salted and peppered legs to grill.

Turn a couple of times every 10 minutes, so you achieve a caramelized skin. When this is achieved, sauce the top side of the chicken liberally and let cook for this way for a couple minutes with the lid on.

Flip chicken and repeat process. Flip chicken once more and cook for another couple of minutes.

Serve with more hot BBQ sauce.

This goes really well with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed veggies. Pair it with a nice California Zinfandel (I recommend Gnarly Head from Lodi)and you’re stoked.

Best BBQ sauce recipe


1 medium onion rough chop
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon toasted whole cumin seed
1 bottle ketchup (preferably no high fructose corn syrup)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey (or any whiskey, brandy, cognac, or dark rum)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 to 4 canned chipotles in adobo (depending on how hot you like it)
Olive oil or lard to coat a sauce pan
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water or more to achieve sauce consistency


Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium high heat.

Add oil, bring to near smoke and add onions. Saute until lightly caramelized.

Add garlic and cumin and saute for one more minute.

Add chipotle and saute for 30 seconds or so.

Deglaze pan with bourbon and reduce by 75%.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, molasses, and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend all ingredients.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Now you can adjust sauce to your taste.

Some like it sweeter, tangier, spicier, darker, so add more sugar, vinegar, chipotle or molasses accordingly. 

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