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grilled chicken drumsticks over a cutting board with herbs
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5 from 2 votes

Grilled Chicken Legs (Drumsticks) with Bacon

Grilled Chicken Legs (Drumsticks) marinated in a mixture of olive oil, beer, spices, and herbs, wrapped in bacon, and cooked until crispy outside and juicy inside. It is our version of the famous Brazilian Chicken Churrasco! 
Course:Main Course
Keywords:bacon, chicken legs, grilling, marinade
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinade time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories877 kcal
Cost $ 1.50 per person


  • grill
  • bowl
  • Freezer bags
  • tongs


  • 4.5 lbs chicken drumsticks skin removed
  • 3 cups brown ale beer
  • 1 cup olive oil not extra-virgin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar to balance the bitterness of the beer
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian oregano chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb smoked bacon thick cut


  • In a large bowl, prepare the marinade: Mix the olive oil, beer, seasonings and spices, and herbs. Place 2/3 of marinade into a 1 gallon heavy-duty freezer bag and the other 1/3 into an airtight container. Place the chicken drumsticks inside, shake the bag to cover the chicken with the marinade, remove as much  air as possible from the bag, and zip. Refrigerate the bag(s) inside a clean bowl and let the drumsticks marinate for at least 2 to up to 8 hours, flipping the bags at least once.
  • Remove drumsticks from bag(s) with tongs, pat them dry with paper towel, and place them on a baking sheet. Make sure to remove all the excess oregano from the surface of the drumsticks (this is to prevent the chicken from becoming bitter once grilled).
  • Wrap each drumstick with one slice of bacon.
  • If you do not have a long Brazilian barbecue skewer, you can place drumsticks directly onto the grill and carefully monitor cooking times, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade while the chicken is grilling. If you do have a Brazilian barbecue skewer, skewer the drumsticks one by one (crosswise), being careful not to cut yourself.
    grilled chicken legs on a charcoal grill
  • Please ensure that the length of meat on the skewers will not exceed the diameter of your grill. It is also important to allow enough room so that the handle of the skewer, which is traditionally made of wood, will lie at a distance well away from the flame and heat of the grill.
  • Before grilling, please be sure to scrape/clean any residual carbon from the metallic surface in order to avoid flame-ups and the oil it to avoid sticking. Start up the grill, which can either be a charcoal grill or gas grill (heat at 375 degrees F). If using a gas grill, set the temperature to medium heat and close the lid in order to allow it to heat up. If a charcoal grill is used, light the briquets/charcoal, and then when they are fully heated and well ashed-over (about 30 minutes), evenly distribute over the bottom of the grill.
  • Place each skewer onto the cooler side of the grill (sides/edges). I would suggest placing skewers slightly away from the hottest, most central portion of the grill, in order to reduce the risk of burning the outside of the meat before the inside has fully cooked. Lower the lid on the grill, and let cook for about 5 minutes.
    chicken churraco in a long skewer
  • Flip each skewer over in order to ensure even grilling on each side. Allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes more. Check to make sure the drumsticks are fully cooked (one can check with a meat thermometer to ensure a minimum temperature of 155 degrees F has been achieved or, if needed, one drumstick can be sliced open to make sure the center has sufficiently cooked through).
  • Serve grilled chicken legs with your fave sides plus caipirinha or Brazilian lemonade.

Recipe Notes

Store grilled chicken legs leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Because it is one of those easy freezer meals, freeze them for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat, covered with paper towel, in the microwave for about 90 seconds or until hot.


Calories: 877kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 37g | Cholesterol: 247mg | Sodium: 2673mg | Potassium: 872mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 139IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg
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