Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins

A chili rub precedes the barbecue sauce as these drumsticks get a full flavor treatment.


  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 bottle tomato-based chili sauce (12 ounces)

  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar

  • ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange drumsticks in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Rub all over with chili powder; season generously with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, make barbecue sauce: In a small saucepan, whisk together chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, espresso powder (if using), and mustard. Bring to a boil; reduce to medium-low, and simmer 2 minutes. Divide sauce between 2 bowls: one for brushing and basting, and one for dipping.

  3. Remove drumsticks from oven, and brush with sauce. Return to oven; bake, turning and basting halfway through, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Brush drumsticks with any leftover pan juices. Serve with reserved dipping sauce.

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