The Best Sticky Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

There’s something a little glutinous about eating with your fingers, and these Chicken Drumsticks begged to be lifted aloft off the plate and eaten with gusto.  I know it sounds a bit cheffy but I do joint my own chickens and then freeze, or use the different bits, then of course the carcuses are perfect for making chicken stock.  But you can buy drumsticks now in most supermarkets, and thighs work equally well with this recipe.

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks


100ml balsamic vinegar

100ml cup honey

75g light brown sugar

100ml soy sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

12 chicken drumsticks

2 Tablespoons of sesame seeds, if desired

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley to serve


Combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic cloves in a large resealable bag. Add the chicken to the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. They can also be frozen in the bag at this stage, which I think helps the flavour.  No salt is needed as the soy sauce gives the marinade that level of saltiness that balances out the sweetness of the sugar, vinegar and honey.
 Preheat the oven to 200oC. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Top with a cooling rack, if you have one.  Remove the chicken from the bag, reserving the marinade, and arrange the drumsticks on the cooling rack. Bake until the skin is caramelized and dark, about 30 minutes.

Drumsticks marinating overnight
Drumsticks marinating overnight

Meanwhile, place the leftover marinade in a small saucepan, uncovered. Bring the marinade to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Use a pastry brush to brush the cooked marinade on the chicken.  Return to the oven for 10 more minutes.

Place the chicken on a serving platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the chopped parsley.


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