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Grill Drumsticks with Spicy Indonesian Marinade

I’ve been asked to feature more recipes which showcase Asian-style cooking as I have fans around the world who have purchased my rub products. This delicious grilled chicken recipe uses an Indonesian-inspired spicy spice mix where shallots, chilies, and lemongrass bring fresh new flavor to the classic American barbecued chicken. I added a Thai twist with the kaffir lime leaf (you can use lime zest as a substitute) as I love the unique citrus aroma that the kaffir leaf adds to grilled chicken. So the next time you fire up your grill for a party or tailgate, try this aromatic chicken marinated in a curry-like spice paste.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale
  • 8 Chicken Drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Marinade Spices ground into a paste in food processor

  • 4 medium shallots, chopped
  • 2 red chilies or 2 tablespoons sambal olek
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaf
  • 2 sticks lemon grass, white part only
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 thumb sized ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts (any nuts you have is OK)
  • 1 teaspoon per drumstick SYD Chicken Rub
  • 1/4 cup water or unsweetened coconut milk
  • parsley for garnish


  1. Pulse the spice ingredients in a food processor. If the blades of your food processor drag because there is not enough liquid, add 1-2 tablespoons coconut milk or water to keep the blades spinning. The spice mix should have a smooth paste consistency. NOTE, if you don’t have peanuts, any nuts you have are good. The traditional Asian technique is to use candlenuts as a thickening agent for sauces and curries. I’ve also used macadamia nuts or walnuts in the past. The idea is to use the oil in the nuts to add unctuousness to Asian sauces.
  2. Rinse off with cold water and pat dry drumsticks (any other chicken cut is also OK)
  3. Season drumsticks all over with a light coat of SYD Chicken Rub. Place in a plastic container
  4. Pour most of the spice mix all over chicken. Be sure the sauce covers the chicken. Marinade in fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. Save a bit of the spice mix to cook into a sauce to brush on later.
  5. Bake or grill until internal is 160F.
  6. When chicken is cooking, sauté the leftover spice mix with some oil. Add some coconut milk or water to thin out the spice mix into a sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings as needed
  7. When cooked, brush the drumsticks using the left over spicy sauce
  8. Garnish with some chopped parsley. Note: you can serve with some Garlic Jasmine rice (in a rice cooker put 2 cups rice, 2 ½ cups water, 3 tablespoons minced garlic sautéed in canola oil, 1 teaspoon salt). I usually have my garlic oil mixture in a plastic bottle in my fridge. If not, you can sauté minced garlic before adding it to the rice cooker.
  9. Serve immediately

  • Author: Harry Soo
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Asian