Honey and Jalapeno Drumsticks


Magic, that’s what it is.  Yes, I am quite aware that I’ll sound like a blathering idiot when I say this, but I truly believe that gardening is tantamount to pulling rabbits out of hats or finding a quarter in your nose that you had no idea was there. Despite the fact that I have always had a black thumb as far as botany goes, somehow the queer combination of an unseasonably cool summer and a liberal daily dousing of rain has left me with…..a GARDEN.  A REAL GARDEN.  One that grows things, and everything!

It’s amazing, absolutely amazing, to think that I planted seeds and now I have vegetables. Every day I wander around outside with unfocused eyes and a slightly slack jaw, poking at roots and shaking my head in wonder.  I get the process, right?  I understand germination, photosynthesis, and the life cycle of your average plant.  It’s just….I’ve never really been a part of it before.  I’m generally the voyeur who scopes out other people’s gardens and mutters nasty comments under my breath about chemical fertilizers and “the luxury of time to pull weeds”.  But this year, I am a convert.  Because this year?  I have a garden.

Those little packets of seeds from the dollar store have yielded jalapenos the size of a baby’s arm.


My tomato grove, because that’s officially what it is, stands almost 5 feet high and there are currently about 25 lbs of green tomatoes hanging heavily on the vines.


These little babies and keening out, “When I grow up, I wanna be PESTO.”  If I had an Italian Nona, she’d be proud of this basil bush.


And my favorite, the absolute jewel that I just can’t get enough of, are the hirsute little edamame which went from flower to pod over the space of one very sunny afternoon. I keep eyeing my sesame oil and licking my chops when I walk by, but all subtle like so as not to alarm the wee tots.


This all to say, however, that the next few weeks will likely be rather heavy on the whole jalapeno/tomato/zucchini/bean front, because that’s what I’ve got an abundance of right now.  So, in honor of fresh produce, let’s start with the jalapenos.

I was thinking of doing a big batch of stuffed jalapenos, but then I remembered that I’ve already posted about bacon wrapped jalapenos….and pub style baked jalapeno poppers.  We’ve got jalapeno cheese bread, salsa del sol, and jalapeno spiked salads out the wazoo.  So…hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to poultry we go!

Honey and Jalapeno Drumsticks

Serves 4-6

  • 10-12 skinless chicken leg drumsticks
  • 3 large jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried  oregano
  • 2 limes (juice only)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


Peel the onion and garlic.  Give them a rough chop before putting them in the bowl of your food processor, along with the dried oregano, honey, soya sauce, and the juice of both limes.

Cut the tops off of the jalapenos and give them a quick once over with the knife before adding them to the mix. You can leave the seeds and ribs in the jalapenos if you like, because they add a touch more heat to the mix.  After the chicken is grilled, the legs will only be about a medium spice level, so you don’t need to worry about snorting out fire with each bite if you left the peppers whole.


Puree the honey jalapeno mixture until it is smooth and saucy.  Give it a taste (I know, it’s spicy NOW, but just wait until the chicken hits the grill!  All that heat just fizzles right off) and feel free to season with more salt and pepper if you really think it’s necessary, remembering that your salty soya will have done most of the work already.

Dry the drumsticks with a paper towel and put them into a large shallow dish or a zip-top plastic freezer bag.  Pour the honey jalapeno dressing over the meat, and shake the bag around to make sure that each leg is well coated.


Sit the drumsticks in the fridge and let them soak up the marinade for at least 1.5 hours, or up to 4 hours, turning them occasionally to make sure the meat marinates evenly.

Preheat your barbecue until it’s fairly hot.  Do you do the steamboat test?  About 4 steamboats seems about right.  Or, if you’re one of those high tech people who has a temperature controlled grill, keep it at about 425ºF.


Grill the drums for about 25 minutes, depending on size, or until the juices run clear.  After you take the legs off the heat, let them sit for about 5-10 minutes, tented in aluminum foil, so they can remind themselves how juicy life can be.


The sugars from the honey and lime caramelize the outside of the chicken in a not-too-sticky sort of way, and the jalapeno adds just the right touch of bright flavor and heat without being overwhelming.


Onto the plate as fast as my little legs could go, along with olive oil roasted new potatoes and a healthy hay stack of green beans…..from the garden.

(I never get tired of saying that)


  • Hellcat13

    Oh my god, I need to make this. Heading to the grocery store for jalapenos tonight. (Because I? Don’t have a garden. And I don’t think I’ll get any in my CSA tomorrow.)

  • http://thespitefulchef.blogspot.com kristie

    You’re a traitor, Tina, with your green thumb and thriving tomato plants. For shame! The rest of us black-thumbs out here feel very let down by your success. Did you know I managed to kill the plants in my Aerogarden?? Did you?!?! Well I DID, because I have a black thumb that isn’t swayed by such nonsense as “rain” and “favorable growing conditions.”

    I’ll likely be a terrible parent.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    Aw, man. I had my basil in pots on the deck and each one was knocked over by a f***ing squirrel. No more basil for me. Other than that, our gardens are twins! My tomatoes are a giant hedge of volunteers (free black brandywines, yay!). My jalapeños had to be grown from starts, though – our springs are too cold and wet to start chiles from seed.

    Great use for some of your garden’s booty!

  • http://muskegharpy.blogspot.com/ Jacquie

    Sounds like you got our typically cool and wet summer weather, while I got sunny and dry. I share your wonder at gardening. Dirt+water+seed=food. Amazing. This is the first year I triumphed over the slug army thanks to the sunny dry days.

    Just a wee bit jealous over the tomato/jalapeno/basil/bean group. I’m stuck with beet/arugula/mustard green/rhubarb. Oh and mint. must not forget the mountain of mint.

  • Hellcat13

    Made this tonight. My husband and I were making indecent sounds as we ate it. Sooooo good. It’s a keeper recipe.

  • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

    Kristie – This year is most definitely an anomaly. All success is thanks to Mother Nature, and most definitely not me. So you killed an Aerogarden? I have methodically managed to peg off my house plants one by one over the last 10 years, including (not one, not two, but…) FIVE CACTI and THREE ALOES. I just kept trying and failing. Seriously, who kills a CACTUS?! The more you neglect them, the happier they are! My current aloe is called “Blackrobe”, because apparently he thrives on adversity.

    Heather – ooh, I’m having a love on for the thought of your Brandywines. I can’t wait to see what you do with all your produce! So the squirrels? Yeah. I get you. But for me it was bunnies. I had one fat rabbit, as bold as brass, who would lounge around in my garden eating all the seedlings down to nubs. Apparently he’s better at telling the difference between seedling and weed than I am, because he’d peg them off one by one. My poor flat leaf parsley took a royal beating, and in the space of a week it went from a glorious verdant patch to a smattering of stumpy barren stalks. I was so angry I told Mike that since he’s already eaten my parsley, garlic chives and basil, he’s almost perfectly seasoned. We just needed to leave out a dish of white wine and make a date to meet for dinner! But……but then a few days ago I saw him with two wee binky little tea-cup sized babies, chewing on my arugula. It wasn’t a he, it was a she….a big ol’ Momma Bunny who was just trying to care for her young. Remembering all my nasty rabbit-soup addled thoughts, I was absolutely disconsolate for days. Mike thinks I’m foolish, of course, but I’m still really bothered every time I think about it. I know, I’m obviously a loser with too much time on her hands.

    Jacquie – So….wanna do a tradesies? For both the produce AND the weather 😉 I hear you on the slug front. Our smallest slug is about 3″ long…..they range from that to the Mini Tremors category.

    Hellcat13 – I am absolutely delighted that you tried and enjoyed the chicken!!! Man, that just makes my day. Thank you for trying it, and also letting us know what your thoughts and feedback were!

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      As if you’d have touched a hair (hare) on that rabbit’s head. She is as comfortable as all get-out — hell, whenever I mow the lawn, she takes it as her cue to come bounding out into sunshine to snack on the dandelion leaves before I cut them down.

  • http://thespitefulchef.blogspot.com kristie

    Oh my goodness, that bunny story is the cutest thing I’ve heard in ages. Baby bunnies are one of the cutest animal beings around, and I would feel horrible if I thought about eating one. Who would want to put an end to their hippity-hoppitude? I also have a thing for squirrels, though. They look so MERRY.

  • jen

    Yum! We had this for dinner tonight. You’re so right about the spice, it is killer raw but once it is cooked it really mellows out. I buy the cheapy skin-on drumsticks and peel off the skin with paper towels. Thanks for the recipe! It was great.

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

      Jen, we’re so pleased that you tried and enjoyed this recipe!! Thank you so much for checking out our site and also for giving this a shot!

      I often buy skin-on meat as well, because it really takes just no time at all to remove it! For the legs, I yank it back in a single stretch and it reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons where the character gets scared and literally jumps out of his skin. But…but then I get really appalled that I enjoyed SKINNING MEAT, and I start to brood about what I just did (as I look furtively over my shoulder lest an angry vegetarian is pounding on my sliding door). But…yes. A great cost saver that takes no time! As for deboning, well, I’m willing to shell out the nickels for that one, considering that my butchering skills are paltry at best.

  • Crystal

    You think I could use this same recipe and stick in the oven for a great result as well? I live in Houston, TX and I can’t be bothered to fire up the grill in this heat. Alternatives to cooking this pretty please? =)

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

      Crystal – you can absolutely do this in the oven! You might not get the same caramelization, but you’ll still have the flavor. Try starting the legs off in a hot in a hot (450F) oven for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and let them cook away for about 25-30 minutes or until the juices run clear. I was grill-less for so many years that there are few things I *wouldn’t* make in an oven or in a pan. Mike remarked just yesterday how curious he found my oven habits, since (apparently, although I have my doubts) I use my oven “more than anybody else in the world”. Mayhaps there was a slight bit of hyperbole going on…..

      Good luck, and if you do end up making these, please let us know what you thought and what you would have done differently!

  • Pingback: Bookmarks for today – The Grilling Edition | wonderment()

  • Pingback: Bookmarks for today: Grilling Edition | wonderment()

  • Adrian

    I just came across your website and you have some great recipes. I’m a healthy eater but a lot of the breads and rolls recipes you posted, look too good to pass up (in particular the Blueberry and White Chocolate Sweet Rolls). The marinade for this particular recipe seems real easy and the drumsticks look delicious. I think i’ll try this out tonight.

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

      Adrian – thank you so much for your kind comment! If you did make this dish, we’d love to hear what you thought (good, bad or otherwise)!

  • Pingback: Easy Weeknight Honey Jalapeno Chicken Thighs Recipe()