Smoked Chicken Drumsticks with Coriander


These smoky grilled chicken legs get a boost of flavor from a marinade made with brown sugar, mustard, coriander and jalapeño. Slideshow: F&W Staff Favorites: Grilled Chicken Recipes 

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks with Coriander
Photo: © Marcus Nilsson
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander

  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Twelve 4-ounce chicken drumsticks

  • 2 cups hardwood chips, such as hickory or applewood, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained


  1. In a medium bowl, stir the brown sugar with the mustard, coriander and jalapeño and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken drumsticks and turn to coat. Seal the bag, pressing out the air; refrigerate the chicken overnight.

  2. Light a grill and oil the grate. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  3. Wrap the soaked wood chips in a double layer of foil and poke holes in the top of the packet. Remove the grill grate. Turn the heat off on half of the grill or rake the coals to one side. Set the wood chip packet directly on the coals or flames and replace the grill grate. When the chips are smoking, return the chicken to the grill over indirect heat. Cover the grill and smoke the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the drumsticks registers 165°, about 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.

Make Ahead

The grilled, smoked chicken can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Sweet-berried Pinot Noir from California’s Russian River Valley is a great match for these intensely flavorful drumsticks.

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