This chicken & sausage came together using a couple of recipes. I used parts Nigella Lawson’s One-Pan Sage-and-Onion Chicken and Sausage and combined it with some of the technique in the Grilled Lemon Chicken with Rosemary recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.
The result was nicely colored meat with a fairly moist interior.
Grilled Chicken and Sausage
Prep time: 75 minutes
Total time: 115 minutes
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 3 quarts water
- 12 chicken drumsticks, skin removed, bone-in
- 12 sweet Italian sausage links
- 1 cup olive oil
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 2 lemons
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- salt & black pepper for seasoning
- Make a brine by combining the sugar and salt in a large bowl or 2-quart cup glass measuring cup. Heat 2 quarts water to a boil and then pour over sugar/salt. Stir until the sugar/salt is dissolved. Add remaining cold water (or ice) to reduce the temp of the brine. The temperature needs to get down to at least room temp before moving on. Colder is better, say 40-50°F.
- Cut 1/2″ slits, about 1/2″ apart, on the both sides of the drumsticks. Transfer to a large bin or zip-top bag. Add the cooled brine and seal. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet or small pan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves one at a time and cook until crisp, about 1 minutes. Transfer the leaves to a double-layer of paper towels to remove some of the excess oil. Allow olive oil to cool.
- Zest and juice the lemons while the chicken brines. Crumble about sage into small pieces. Combine zest, lemon juice, 1/2 the crumbled sage, Worcestershire and Dijon in a small bowl. When oil cools whisk it into the mixture to create an emulsion. Add salt and pepper to taste. This will be a dressing and basting liquid for the chicken & sausages.
- Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Transfer to a large dish, add the sausage links and add about 1/3 of the lemon/oil dressing. Rub the dressing onto the chicken and sausages.
- Heat gas grill on high for 15 minutes. Clean the grill grates, leave half of the burners at high and turn the rest to low. Lubricate with vegetable oil.
- Place the drumsticks on the hottest part of the grill and arrange the sausages around the drumsticks. Close the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes. Flip the drumsticks and sausages over; brush with with basting liquid. Cover and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes.
- Check the temperature of the chicken and sausages. If it is in the 175°F range then remove it from the grill to a clean dish. If it hasn’t hit 175°F yet turn it over again, baste it once more and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat until all the pieces are cooked through.
- Brush cooked meat with any remaining basting liquid and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Transfer meat to a serving disk, sprinkle with remaining sage leaves. Serve.
If you have the time and forethought, make the brine the day before, let it cool to room temp and stash it in the fridge overnight.
I served this with some grilled onion segments. Cut peeled onions (top to root) into quarters or eighths, depending on their size. Place the onions in a microwave safe bowl, toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes to soften the onions. When you flip the chicken the first time place the onion quarters on the grill. Flip them after 4 minutes. It takes a bit of dexterity however if you leave a bit of root in place they should stay together.