As much as I think I love to barbecue; I think what I really love is conjuring up new barbecue sauces. I’m going through a fruit phase; maybe it’s an extension of how fruit has permeated my salads and salad dressings but I’ve found them to be so complimentary to the seasonings that make up sauces for the grill. This recipe required both a rub for the chicken and then a sauce that is put on that same chicken later in the game…by the time all is said and done the flavor that was imparted to this smoked chicken was amazing. I created this dish for a backyard get together I’ll be posting about later this week and the sauce was so loved I was asked if I would please bottle it and sell it. How about if I just give you the recipe instead?
If I were making this later in the season I might have used fresh peaches but I’m not certain; the ease of using a jar of peach preserves can not be underestimated! I also suppose it shows the hierarchy of importance I place on material things in my life that I brought my smoker with me for the time I’m staying with some friends. Anticipating a summer without smoking some chicken would simply not be the same. Or brisket or ribs or…see; how could I go through an entire summer without it?
I love having a smoker; put the food in and let it do it’s magic. Smoking something like chicken legs is especially easy since the time element is relatively short due to their size. Short as in 2 hours versus a full day; that makes it something I can accomplish without spending the entire day monitoring progress. LOVE!
Served with Cilantro Serrano Mexican Rice (my FAVORITE rice dish EVER!), a simple salad with mixed greens, strawberries, sunflower seeds and a strawberry dressing, it was simple and so good; doggone I’m craving some more now! We also had a trio of ice creams; the ease of making homemade ice cream might be my downfall; I have more ideas than I have time to make them!
No smoker? Don’t let that stop you…this very same treatment would be great for chicken cooked on the grill too. Happy Summer!
- 12-20 chicken legs
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 1 T cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
- ¾ cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 12 oz jar peach preserves
- ½ cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp mild-flavored (light) molasses
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
- 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can (I originally made this with one chile to not make it too hot for more sensitive palates; everyone thought it could use the additional heat so now I make it with 2)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- Combine the brown sugar, paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a container and mix well.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for just a minute; do not let it turn brown.
- Add the ketchup, peach preserves, bourbon, lemon juice, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lemon peel, chiles with adobo sauce, liquid smoke and dry mustard.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20-25 minutes until thickened, stirring often. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Put the chicken legs into a large ziploc bag or bowl.
- Season the chicken generously with the rub and make sure all the pieces get covered. Put the chicken in the fridge for 4-24 hours.
- Preheat your smoker and place the seasoned chicken legs on the smoker racks.
- Smoke for 2 hours; remove from smoker and put the legs into a large dish, generously slather with the Chipotle Peach Barbecue sauce and cover with foil.
- Put the dish of legs into the smoker for another half hour or until done (should register 165 degrees internally).
- Serve with additional sauce.