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Maple Bourbon Glazed Chicken Drumsticks

Maple Bourbon Glaze with Chicken Drumsticks

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Happy hour meets breakfast with this smoky, sweet Maple Bourbon Glaze. Whether you slather it, douse it, or dip it on your next batch of grilled chicken, don’t forget the bacon.

  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: Serves about 4-5 1x


  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Maple Bourbon Glaze

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 6 slices bacon, diced fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • (optional) ½ cup chopped herbs, cilantro or mint


  1. Pat the chicken drumsticks dry. Take a drumstick and place it on your cutting board, with the side up facing you that has the most meat showing. Using a sharp knife, cut the meat along one side of the bone, careful not to slice all the way through. Make a second cut, separating the meat from the other side of the bone.  Fold open the meat and lay the drumstick face-down. Repeat for each one.
  2. Season the drumsticks. If grilling immediately, brush a light coat of oil on the wings before seasoning. If grilling later, skip the oil, season generously and then place them uncovered in the fridge on a wire rack for 2 hours, up to overnight. Lightly oil when ready to grill.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high, 400°F for direct cooking.
  4. Mix the ketchup, syrup, bourbon, chipotles, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside for now.
  5. Remove the chicken from the fridge at least 20 minutes before adding to the grill, allowing them to come to room temp.
  6. Place the drumsticks on the grill grates with the skin-side up. Allow them to cook for about 7-8 minutes, until they develop grill marks and are easily able to be flipped.
  7. Flip the drumsticks, and repeat the process. This should take about 20-25 minutes depending on your grill.
  8. Set the grill-safe pan on the grill next to the chicken at a medium heat. Add the bacon, and cook it for a few minutes until it renders down and becomes crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan.
  9. Pour of some of the bacon fat if there’s excess. Add in the minced garlic and sautee for about 2 minutes until soft. Pour in the sauce mixture from the bowl, and allow it to thicken for a few minutes.
  10. Once the chicken is about 170-175°F, add it to the sauce and toss to combine. Sprinkle in the crispy bacon and serve.
  11. Plate the chicken and sauce for serving, and garnish with chopped herbs such as cilantro or mint.


Use any type of chicken you’d like, just follow the same guidelines for cooking chicken to a safe temperature. Time will vary if you’re using a different cut.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Chicken & Poultry
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Appetizer
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