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Recipe of the Week: Grilled Chipotle Orange Chicken Legs

by Leigh Sackett

There is still plenty of summer weather left for grilling but the signs of the season’s end are all around us. One of the most obvious signs in my life (with 2 young children) is the impending start of the school year. Everything  seems to start up at the same time – school, sports, homework, clubs, the new church season and I am sure there is more that hasn’t even hit my radar yet.

It really is exciting, I don’t mean to complain about the prospect of it all – new beginnings are quite amazing.  The promise a new season brings and the privilege of being involved in work that may make some good things happen is certainly a wonderful blessing.

But my heart is a sentimental one, nostalgic and forever holding onto the freedom found in the summer days it cherishes. We will relish in these last days of summer break – We will swim, play in the dirt, eat tomatoes, read in the hammock and grill chicken legs . . . And then we will march forward into the new fall season with great hope of what is to come. Happy Late Summer All!

1 cup fresh orange juice, divided

5 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper

2 pounds chicken drumsticks (about 8 drumsticks)

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

– Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Combine 1/4 cup orange juice, 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, and next 5 ingredients in a shallow dish or large zip-top plastic freezer bag; add chicken. Cover or seal, and chill 10 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade.

– Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 10 to 12 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill; cover with aluminum foil, and let stand 10 minutes.

– Meanwhile, whisk together 2 tsp. brown sugar, remaining 3/4 cup orange juice, and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce in a small saucepan. Whisk together cornstarch and 2 tsp. water, and whisk into orange juice mixture. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute or until thickened. Brush sauce over chicken.

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