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Finger lickin'

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My friend Gail vanWart's family has owned Peaked Mountain Farm in Dedham for about 150 years. She is an author and poet and very knowledgeable about wild blueberries, blueberry recipes, blueberry cultivation...heck, everything blueberry. Having talked to her this past week, she has me salivating for her crop of MOFGA wild blueberries. But like strawberries, we have to wait for the perfect time. In the meantime, I am going to whet my (and hopefully your) taste buds for blueberries with the following finger-lickin' chicken and something to top it off with.

Slathered drumsticks with blueberry- molasses glaze

Although many of us enjoy the calorie reduction and ease of preparation using boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, there is just something about picking up a messy chicken drumstick and having to lick your fingers afterwards. This is just such a recipe. Using New England ingredients for a Southern recipe just makes me smile. You truly can make a barbecue better using Yankee ingredients. Try this and see for yourself.

  • 10 to 12 chicken legs
  • Dijon-style mustard

Dry rub:

  • 4 t. brown sugar
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 2 t. black pepper
  • 1 t. (or less if preferred) cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 t. paprika, optional

Blueberry- molasses glaze:

  • 1 1/2 c. blueberry jam or preserves
  • 4 t. molasses
  • 2 t. soy sauce
  • 1 t. mustard powder

In small bowl, add dry rub ingredients and mix well. Sauce each chicken leg with a light coat of Dijon-style mustard. Season each chicken leg with dry rub mix.

Build a charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. When temperature inside the grill has reached approximately 300 F, place chicken legs on the grill over the side void of charcoal. Close lid and cook chicken for 40 minutes with indirect heat, or until the internal temperature reaches 175 to 180 F.

While chicken is cooking, combine blueberry-molasses glaze ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend glaze until smooth and pour into a shallow bowl.

Remove chicken legs from grill, submerge each leg into glaze, and place them back on the covered grill over indirect heat for 8 minutes or until sauce caramelizes. Remove from grill and serve.

Wash this messy meal down with a blueberry cheesecake smoothie. Combine 3/4 c. milk, 4 oz. cream cheese (cut into pieces), 1/2 c. blueberry yogurt, 1 1/4 c. fresh blueberries, 1/4 t. cinnamon and 3/4 c. ice cubes. Process in a blender until smooth. Sprinkle crushed graham cracker on top.


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