Hickory Smoked Chicken Legs with a Garlic Balsamic Glaze
These chicken legs are a definite crowd-pleaser for your weekend and holiday barbecues. The smoke flavor from the hickory in this dish is intoxicating, and the glaze adds another level of flavor.
Take your time, cook these slow, and you won’t be disappointed.
Sriracha chili paste
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Start by marinating your chicken legs in a mixture of chopped garlic (several cloves), balsamic vinegar, white wine, brown sugar, the juice of 1 lime, salt, and pepper. Allow your chicken legs to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better (you could even marinate these overnight).
When your chicken legs are done marinating, smoke these on very low heat (using hickory) for 2-2.5 hours. Turn a couple of times during the cooking process, and remove them when they have a beautiful smoke color on all sides.
Garlic Balsamic Glaze
Start by sautéing 2 cloves of finely minced garlic in a bit of olive oil until the garlic is caramelized, then deglaze with 3 tablespoons of white wine, let it reduce to almost nothing, then add ½ cup of balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of brown sugar, and allow the balsamic vinegar to thicken over medium heat. Add a bit of Sriracha chili paste (to taste), along with salt and pepper.
When the glaze has thickened to a syrupy consistency, remove it from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Next, mix in chopped basil and a few drops of lime juice, and the glaze is ready.
Note: The glaze is meant to work with the hickory smoke flavor (which is the star flavor of this dish), and not necessarily on it’s own.
When the chicken is done, toss your chicken legs in the glaze, then serve immediately and enjoy.