I was a little skeptical about grilling chicken drumsticks in their raw form on a George Foreman contact grill. The reason for this is because drums are thick and meaty at one end and a slim and boney at the other. I was worried they wouldn’t cook evenly or all the way through.
I decided to try two methods to see which worked best. I have a go-to summer grilled chicken recipe that is a two step process. It requires that the chicken is marinated, cooked in the oven, and finished on a charcoal or gas grill. This recipe is inspired by the original Silver Palate cookbook. I have to say it is a massive crowd pleaser. I can make a big batch and store the oven cooked chicken in the refrigerator for a few days and grill as needed for a weeknight meal or for when guests show up. It takes just a few minutes to warm through and get those wonderful grill marks and charred flavor. The recipe has some sugar which caramelizes on the grill. I love not having to set up my outdoor grill when I can make this recipe in the winter on my Foreman grill.
The other recipe I tried was raw, seasoned drumsticks directly on the GF grill. My grill has some spots that are hotter than other areas. This is not uncommon, similar to a charcoal grill. What I found worked well was to rotate and flip the drums every 5 minutes until they came to an even, safe temperature of 170°F. You really must check the internal temperature. I recommend a digital, instant read, probe thermometer. You can find reliable ones starting at around $15.
I am starting with the basic recipe on the grill and then moving onto the oven baked/grilled recipe. The second takes some effort and time. I promise you it is worth it. Feel free to double the recipe so you can get a few meals out of it.
Seasoned and Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
You can double this recipe if you have a larger contact grill. Mine is the smallest one that fits neatly under my range hood to allow for the smoke to be sucked out of the kitchen.
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 1 TBS garlic infused olive oil*
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked fresh pepper
- 1 TBS herb blend**
* If you can find olive oil with garlic infused into it you will not end up with burnt pieces of fresh garlic after grilling. Any grill can be rough on fresh garlic, turning it bitter. Otherwise, just add 1/4 tsp garlic powder to the rub.
** My go-to herb blend for chicken is Herbes de Provence. Feel free to use an Italian seasoning blend, Creole mix, jerk seasoning, or even just the salt and pepper. There are no rules when it comes to your preference.
Total time:25 min – Prep time:5 min + marinating for 60 minutes – Cook time:20 min – Serves:4 people
1. Rinse the chicken legs and pat dry with paper towels. Place the oil, salt, pepper, and herbs on a plate. Put the legs in the wet rub and turn to coat. Don’t be afraid to get your hands in there to press the mixture into the skin of the meat. Put this aside to sit for 60 to 90 minutes.
2. Preheat your GF contact grill to high with the top closed. This takes approximately 5 minutes.
3. When the grill is hot, place the drums on the grill alternating the fat and thin portions. In other words, lay them head to toe, side by side so they will fit. Close the top. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Grill and rotate/change position every 5 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 170°F at the thickest portion. The heftiest pieces may take 20 minutes. You will know when the legs are cooked through when the skin side up is bubbling upon opening the grill.
4. Remove the drumsticks to a clean cutting board and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve with plenty of napkins as these are best eaten by hand.
Chicken Marbella Finished on a Foreman Grill
- 10 to 12 chicken drumsticks
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup pitted prunes
- 1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
- 1/4 cup capers
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 TBS dried oregano
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 TBS fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Total time: 75 min – Prep time: 15 min + marinating overnight – Cook time: 60 min – Serves: 4 people
1. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken legs and coat with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 60 minutes before baking. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two baking dishes or oven proof skillets. Pour the marinade over it evenly. Dust the chicken pieces with the brown sugar. Pour the wine around the edges of the dishes.
4. Place the chicken in the hot oven and cook for 45 to 60 minutes basting frequently with the pan juices. The chicken is finished when the internal temperature reaches 170°F and the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife or fork.
5. Take the chicken out of the oven and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. You can place some in the refrigerator to grill for another meal or continue on to the grilling step.
6. Preheat your GF grill to high. Brush oil on the grill plates. Using tongs transfer the chicken to the grill and close the top. You may have to do this in batches. Place the pan juices back in the oven to keep warm, or heat up in a sauce pot to spoon over the grilled chicken. Grill the chicken for approximately 4 minutes or until it has nice grill marks.
7. Place the grilled legs on a serving platter and spoon some of the warm pan juices over them. Sprinkle with the parsley just before serving. You can place the extra pan juices in a gravy boat that everyone can help themselves to.
As mentioned, I like to do this inside in the winter with my Foreman grill. It is a comfort food dish. It goes nicely with roasted vegetables, such as carrots, new potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. You can pour the pan juices over everything.