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Rhubarb-Apricot Barbecued Chicken

Springtime brings back memories of rhubarb that grew beside my childhood home. When I found ruby red stalks in the store, I created this recipe for them. My family gives this a big thumbs up. —Laurie Hudson, Westville, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Grill: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 5 teaspoons barbecue seasoning, divided
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 12 chicken drumsticks (about 4 pounds)


  • In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, 4-6 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in rhubarb, ketchup, water, preserves, vinegar, molasses, mustard, chipotle pepper, 1 teaspoon barbecue seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until rhubarb is tender, 8-10 minutes. Puree rhubarb mixture using an immersion blender, or cool slightly and puree in a blender. Reserve 2 cups sauce for serving.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining 4 teaspoons barbecue seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle over chicken. On a lightly oiled grill rack, grill chicken, covered, over indirect medium heat 15 minutes. Turn; grill until a thermometer reads 170°-175°, 15-20 minutes longer, brushing occasionally with remaining sauce. Serve with reserved sauce.
Editor's Note
If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.
Nutrition Facts
2 chicken drumsticks with 1/3 cup sauce: 469 calories, 19g fat (5g saturated fat), 126mg cholesterol, 1801mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 1g fiber), 39g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Oh!MyGosh
    May 15, 2019

    What exactly is Barbecue Seasoning? Do you recommend a specific brand?

  • terry
    May 11, 2018

    Flavor 1stly! It did not run off chicken pieces. Anice coating after the 2nd basting. Chicken wonderfully moist!

  • LPHJKitchen
    May 29, 2017

    Our go-to BBQ sauce features apricot preserves so I was excited to find a recipe using another favorite ingredient - rhubarb. This did NOT disappoint! It was a little tangy, yet slightly sweet. Next time we will try it over grilled pork chops!

  • tastyTOM
    Mar 30, 2016

    I tried this yesterday. It was an unseasonably warm day so I opened up our outdoor grill and gave this a try with skin on, bone-in chicken thighs, and to my great surprise, it was good, no, it was better than good! How about- very good!Next time, I will try upping the heat level with some red pepper flakes. I like some heat with any bbq and this chicken lacked that level of heat, but still, it had a certain "tang" about it, which worked great with biscuits and beer. Thanks for sharing this recipe!