Barbecue Spice Rub for Chicken

by Anne Bennett on June 8, 2017

Chicken drumsticks are economical and convenient, and they’re only 2 WW Points.

I’ve grilled my share of chicken parts over the years. I’ve slathered them with bottled barbecue sauce, brined them in salty water, marinated them in olive oil and herbs, you name it. Fancy preparations usually yielded good if not unforgettable results, which means I never adopted one tried-and-true method for grilling terrific chicken, especially at a summer moment’s notice.

Cooks Illustrated recently published a recipe for grilling chicken drumsticks with a simple spice rub that hit the mark. It was simple, easy-to-prepare, delicious. My kind of recipe and one that I’ve used with drumsticks, thighs, breasts. Here’s the deal: you mix together this spice rub, pat it on your chicken and grill. That’s it. The brown sugar in the rub helps the spices adhere to the meat.

Cooks Illustrated suggests grilling the chicken on the cool side of the grill, away from direct heat, which makes sense because it allows the chicken to cook at about 325-350 degrees F and not burn. Drumsticks cook for about 20 minutes per side; for the last 5 minutes you move the parts to the hot side of the grill to give them some color. Breasts may cook for slightly less time.

One change I made: CI brines chicken in a salt solution for an hour before grilling. Their recipe for the rub calls for 3/4 tsp. salt because their chicken is already salted. Why bother brining, I say, so I upped the salt in the rub to 1 tsp. and that seemed to be enough.

Weight Watcher points per serving? Minimal but if you want to count, add one SmartPoint per serving and call it a day.

Barbecue Spice Rub

3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Stir all ingredients together in a large shallow bowl.

Pat chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, dip each piece into the rub and gently pat off any excess rub. For a charcoal grill, heat briquets on one side of the grill and place the chicken pieces on the cool side. Move the pieces to the hot side for the last 5 minutes of cooking. For a gas grill, heat all burners to high, then turn off one burner and grill the chicken on the cool side.

 

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