A Mess of Drumsticks

Paula: I used to eye massive packages of meat (we’re talking Costco quantities here) and wonder, “who buys that much?!?” Now, low and behold, it’s me. In the interest limiting trips to the grocery store and sweating under my mask, I’ve become a big fan of grilling off a week’s worth of some kind of “workhorse” protein, knowing we’ll use it to top salads, eat cold with noodles and/or make bahn mi sandwiches.

Scott: Remember that scene from the movie Rocky where Sylveseter Stallone is training for the fight of his life using enormous slabs of meat as punching bags? I wonder if you’ve ever been inspired to do a training montage during one of your Costco trips. It would make a great companion piece to this recipe.

Paula: I actually tried that once, but security was called with impressive speed. That minor incident didn’t keep me away from the chicken aisle. My current “big grill” go-to is a mess of drumsticks and thighs, because they’re so easy to fire off en mass, completely versatile, and everyone loves them. These crispy legs are especially irresistible when seasoned with garlic, rosemary, a hit of red chile and plenty of salt and pepper (aka The Usual).

Scott: Pull my finger (just kidding).

Paula: “Clean up in aisle five.” (Just kidding)

A Mess of Chicken with The Usual

Dinner for 4, with delicious leftovers

  • 16 chicken drumsticks (or bone-in skin-on thighs) 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons The Usual
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl, drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat, and sprinkle with The Usual, using your hands to evenly coat the chicken. 

Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking, and build a medium-high fire, or heat a gas grill to high. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, clean and oil the grates. 

Place the seasoned chicken, onto the grill over direct heat, and cook, flipping every couple minutes, until both sides are lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet, lightly season with a sprinkling of kosher salt, allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes, and then serve with lemon wedges—and your current whims.


Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe, and infamous grill nerd and co-owner of PK Grills, Scott Moody.

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