Smokey Rosemary-Mustard Chicken Drumsticks + Gluten-Free Picnic Menu

grilled chicken drumsticks, rosemary mustard chicken, rosemary mustard marinade, july 4th recipes, picnic recipes, gluten free july 4th, gluten free barbecue, gluten free picnic, dairy free picnic recipes, kosher chicken recipes,  healthy chicken recipes,  easy chicken recipes

It’s only July 2nd, but I can already hear myself on September 1st:

“Wahhh. Boohoohoo. Summer is over and how many times did we go to the beach? How about that hike we promised to go on with the dog? And how come we never made it to that outdoor jazz concert with picnic basket in tow?”

Last summer, my answers would have been: 1) Zero. Unless you count once in Israel. Kind of pathetic for the fact that I live less than 90 minutes from the ocean. 2) We didn’t have a dog last summer, but still, I don’t know why we didn’t take more hikes. And 3) because we’re always so busy and don’t own a picnic basket?

This summer, I plan to change all that. Just ask me on September 1st, and I guarantee I’ll have happier answers. Why? Because life is meant to be lived. And because I refuse to let my legs stay pasty all summer.

I’m already one step closer to #3, thanks to my friend Amie, author, gluten-free chef, and hollistic health counselor behind the blog The Healthy Apple. Amie and I chatted it up for a long hour on the phone one afternoon, lamenting what a shame it was that we couldn’t get together for a cooking extravaganza (although, since she’s only a few hours away by car, maybe that will change someday!) In the meantime, we thought it would be fun to pool our brains together and create a fresh, tasty gluten-free picnic menu that you can use this week (hello, 4th of July!) and all summer long.

I’m generally easy to please, but when I started thinking about what makes perfect picnic food, I came up with a slew of criteria:

  • It can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before serving, and doesn’t require any last minute assembly or garnishes
  • Hot food need not apply; it has to be tasty chilled or room temp
  • Hand-held food is great. Food that requires a fork is fine. But a knife and fork? Count it out! You know that awkward moment where you’re trying to balance a solo cup AND slice into a piece of steak? Yeah, not happening at my picnic.
  • It should be healthy, flavorful, and you should have a big variety of colors and flavors. Oh wait, that’s my criteria all the time ๐Ÿ™‚

When Amie declared her Asparagus Goat Cheese Pasta Salad, it took me about 2 seconds to decide what I was making. Grilled chicken drumsticks in a smokey mustard-rosemary marinade seemed like the perfect accompaniment. And the thing about chicken drumsticks is that you can grill them up a head of time, and enjoy them cold the next day. With a marinade like this one, spiked with lemon and garlic, you can guarantee they’ll stay nice and juicy too. No dry chicken at my picnic, promise!

To round out the picnic menu, I selected some goodies that Amie and I have each made in the past, that all fit the bill described above. Simple, make-ahead, healthy goodies to stuff the cooler with and tote along – we got you covered!

july 4th recipes, clean eating july 4th recipes, clean eating bbq recipes, dairy free bbq recipes, healthy picnic recipes, gluten free barbecue

Grilled Zucchini and Goat Cheese Rollatini with Raisins and Pistachios

Smokey Eggplant Guacamole

Cauliflower “Hummus”

Big Green Salad with Poppy-Tahini Dressing

Potato Salad with Parsley Pesto

Chocolate-Glazed Banana Cupcakes

So – who’s coming along on our picnic and what are you bringing?

PrintPrint SaveSave

Smokey Rosemary-Mustard Chicken Drumsticks

Yield: 1 dozen

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 6 hours to marinate

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Juicy mustard-and-rosemary infused chicken legs with a hint of smoke - perfect right off the grill or for bringing on your next picnic.


12 meaty chicken drumsticks
3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup grainy Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons minced rosemary
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper


Arrange chicken drumsticks in a 9x13" baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from refrigerator. Spray grill grates with olive oil cooking spray. Preheat grill so that chicken can be cooked over indirect heat.*

Transfer chicken to the grill and cook for about 45 minutes, turning once or twice, until chicken is no longer pink in the thickest part of the meat. (If the chicken does not seem to be cooking through, you may need to turn the middle burners onto low heat.)

*I turn the outside burners onto medium-high, and leave the ones in the middle of the grill off.

  Pin It

20 Responses to “Smokey Rosemary-Mustard Chicken Drumsticks + Gluten-Free Picnic Menu”

  1. Pingback: July 4th Recipes | Fourth July Recipes | Gluten Free Recipes - The Healthy Apple

  2. 2

    Mary Lynn — July 2, 2012 @ 7:17 am Reply

    I don’t know what I’m bringing but ill definitely be there!!!

  3. Pingback: Cara's Cravings ยป Recipe for Smokey Rosemary-Mustard Chicken … – Fine Food Recipes

  4. 3

    Carol — July 2, 2012 @ 11:04 am Reply

    I don’t see the recipe for the drumsticks…..

    • 3.1

      Cara — July 2, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      woops! Thanks for pointing that out. It’s fixed now ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 4

    Kate — July 2, 2012 @ 5:02 pm Reply

    Welcome to the summer of change.

  6. 5

    Joanne — July 2, 2012 @ 9:02 pm Reply

    I feel the SAME WAY every summer! It feels like it flashes by in an instant. This summer I’m going to FL for a week, so I’ll definitely get some beach time in! No pasty legs for me. ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. 6

    The Healthy Apple — July 2, 2012 @ 11:21 pm Reply

    This looks beautiful, Cara! I loved sharing this post with you and wish we were going to be able to cook together on July 4th.
    Have a fabulous holiday and thank you again.

  8. Pingback: Tasty Eats at Home » Last-Minute Independence Day Roundup

  9. 7

    Maggie — July 3, 2012 @ 1:13 pm Reply

    If you and Amie are there, I am too! I’m taking back Summer too – so many fun things to do! xo

  10. 8

    Hallie — July 3, 2012 @ 2:00 pm Reply

    Would so love to picnic with you and Amie! Love this menu and that recipe looks delish. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy 4th of July!!

  11. 9

    Kim-Cook It Allergy Free — July 3, 2012 @ 8:40 pm Reply

    I want to come to YOUR picnics!! Wow! What incredible food!! And this chicken sounds divine. What beautiful beautiful pictures!!

  12. 10

    grace — July 4, 2012 @ 7:42 am Reply

    i’ve had the rosemary-mustard combo on pork before, but not chicken–it sounds great! happy 4th. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. 11

    Stephanie — July 4, 2012 @ 10:37 pm Reply

    I made this for my 4th of July picnic! I made it with boneless, skinless breasts and some legs, and didn’t use liquid smoke. It got RAVE reviews from all my guests, and my husband asked me to keep it on rotation. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for a great recipe that also makes it easy to entertain in a healthful way!

    • 11.1

      Cara — July 5, 2012 @ 7:42 am

      Thank you so much Stephanie, so glad you liked it!

  14. 12

    Amanda L. (Tales from a Kitchen Misfit) — July 5, 2012 @ 10:54 pm Reply

    I’m always terrible at making chicken drumsticks…they always come out bland! These seem like anything BUT bland!

  15. 13

    Kerstin — July 7, 2012 @ 9:03 am Reply

    What a great spread! And the drumsticks sound perfect for a crowd!

  16. 14

    Shannon — July 10, 2012 @ 2:52 pm Reply

    i’d be at your picnic in a heartbeat ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. 15

    Beth @ Kitchen Minions — July 12, 2012 @ 8:29 pm Reply

    I wish I could have a grill…This looks like such a great chicken! I’m the same way with best laid plans, we have an idea that we should go kayaking…it’s been warm enough for 3 months now and we’ve gone kayaking zero times. oops!

  18. Pingback: Recipe for Healthy Gluten-Free Diet: Memorial Day Recipe Round-Up

Leave a Comment