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Another good reason to fire up the BBQ


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Barbecue sauce is a food group of its very own as far as some people are concerned. That’s doubly true in the midst of barbecue season, aka move-the-kitchen-outdoors season.

These delicious drumsticks are coated in heavenly homemade barbecue sauce. Sweetened with Medjool dates, this one is guaranteed to be your go-to sauce. Use it with grilled meats of any kind, and feel free turn up the heat factor if you like things extra spicy.

Here, we’re using chicken drumsticks, but you can use the same amount of skinless, bone-in chicken thighs instead if that’s your preference. The sauce also works with any meat of your choice.

The recipe calls for passata – cooked tomatoes that have been crushed and strained – which can be bought at the store or can be made at home, the latter being a particularly good option later in the season when gardens and grocery stores are afloat in tomatoes.

Lip-smacking BBQ Drumsticks

  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups tomato passata
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 10 skinless chicken drumsticks (about 1 kg/2 lbs)
  1. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, thyme, chili powder and pepper for 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomato passata, dates, vinegar, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Scrape into blender and purée until smooth. Makes about 2-1/2 cups of sauce.
  3. Place drumsticks on greased grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn and grill for 5 minutes more. Start brushing with about 1 cup of sauce, turning often and basting for about more 10 minutes. (Use a digital food thermometer to check that chicken has reached an internal temperature of 74°C/165°F.)
  4. Serve with some of the remaining sauce, if desired. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for up to two weeks.


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