As a light meal or tasty appetizer, these chile, lemon and garlic drumettes are a delight.
We are still enjoying some nice weather here in central New York and also enjoying a break from indoor cooking for a little while. One of the best cooking techniques I have learned on my grill is what they call indirect grilling/cooking. You could do this on both a charcoal and gas grill, as long as the gas grill has a burner with controls on both sides. Adding a couple of chunks of a mild-flavored wood like apple or cherry gives the chicken a light, smoked flavor. It’s totally optional, but is quite easy to do. I am no longer intimidated by my grill... well, as long as I don’t have to build the fire, ha, ha. Indirect heat grilling is great for bone-in chicken and for those tough cuts of meat that would require low and slow cooking.
chile limon seasoningIf you cannot find chile limon seasoning, just add a little fresh lemon juice to the wings/drumettes before adding dry spices 1 teaspoon or to taste, crushed chile de arbol or red chile pepper flakes
Spread the drumettes or wings on a baking sheet and season to taste with the salt, pepper and chile limon seasoning on both sides. Sprinkle the tops with crushed chile de árbol or red pepper flakes; set aside.
Prepare your outdoor grill for indirect grilling and heat to 250ºF. If using the applewood, remove from water and place near the hot charcoals. Close lid for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, brush grates on cool side with oil and place the chicken, skin side up onto grates. Spread out evenly.
Let the chicken cook for a good hour with lid closed. In a sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients for sauce, reduce heat and taste for salt. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
After an hour of cooking, rotate the drumettes on grill. Check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. You are looking for a temperature of 165ºF. Cook for another 25 to 30 minutes. At this point, I transfer the drumettes over to the hot side of grill and baste them with some of the lemon garlic sauce and grill for just another 2 minutes. Transfer drumettes to serving dish and pour remaining lemon garlic sauce over the drumettes.
I had only 12 drumettes, but they were pretty big. This sauce recipe could cover 18 to 20 smaller wings. Using paper towels, pat the chicken dry before adding spices.
Cooking and grilling on an outdoor grill with indirect heat is a great way to avoid a hot oven or stove top during the warmer days. The key is to keep the temperature constant and that require adding a little more charcoal during the cooking time.
All grills will vary, but it’s always a good idea to have a thermometer at hand. These drumettes cooked in 1 hour and 25 minutes, then I moved them to the hot side of grill before basting them with sauce.