Did someone say “finger lickin’ good?” Honey Garlic Baked Chicken Drumsticks leave other chicken in the proverbial herbs-and-spices “dust” on that count. These sweet and sticky legs are an insanely cost-effective crowd-pleaser. 100% no fuss, but be prepared for a wee bit of muss.
I’ve been singing the praises of bone-in chicken for awhile now, but I feel I’ve been remiss in shining a spotlight on the unsung hero of said creature: the drumstick. And all credit due to the chicken wing drumette and the searing logic of a child for making me realize the error of my ways.
You see reader, I recently broke down and purchased an air fryer. (Wait’ll you see the alchemy I shall weave. Muahahaha!) and was testing chicken wings. We were enjoying some of our favorite buffalo-style when my carnivorous, sauce-covered son ripped the meat off a drumette like a caveman and exclaimed he wanted “ostrich chicken wings” so there was more meat.
*Ding* Chicken Legs. Bigger. Meatier. Hand-held (and therefore still “fun”). More surface area for sauce. More crispy skin. And for some “inexplicable” reason (don’t get me started about the football-industrial snack complex), significantly more bang for your buck in a family pack than chicken wings. Inspiring to say the least.
To be clear, these Honey Garlic Drumsticks are baked, not air fried; but the point is my meat-eaters moved through these legs like foxes in a henhouse. By the end, we had nothing but full bellies, sticky fingers, and a pile of bones to show for it. (Plus, no ostriches were harmed in the making of this recipe.)
How to Bake Chicken Drumsticks
Get out your wet naps! These sweet, savory, and sticky Honey Garlic Drumsticks are a meaty treat. Simple sauce prep and an easy bake make these a perfect main dish for a weeknight. Plus, they pair with an almost endless array of sides for a worry-free dinner.
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- Combine sauce ingredients and whisk together.
- Place drumsticks in a casserole dish, add sauce, and marinate for 2-10 hours in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once halfway through. Crisp in the broiler for 3-5 minutes at the end.
- Plate the chicken and drizzle with sauce; garnish and serve immediately.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- Always pat dry before saucing to remove excess moisture and achieve crispier skin.
- Speaking of crispier skin, I highly recommend giving this dish a few extra minutes under the broiler to crisp and caramelize.
- Prep in the AM to allow for a lengthier marinade. Super easy to just pop in the oven at the end of your workday.
- Flip the chicken halfway through marinating (if time and opportunity permits).
What to Serve with Honey Garlic Chicken Drumsticks
- Serve over white rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice (to mop up all of that delicious honey garlic sauce!)
- With garlic green beans, roasted cauliflower, simple roasted asparagus, or sautéed zucchini.
- Enjoy it picnic-style with cold sides like bacon coleslaw and Italian potato salad.
This Recipe Is…
- PALEO: use coconut aminos and coconut sugar in place of the dark brown sugar
- GLUTEN FREE: be sure to use gluten-free tamari (or coconut aminos) for the marinade.
- FREEZER FRIENDLY: combine the chicken and the marinade in a gallon ziplock bag. Press out the air, then seal and stash in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before transferring to a casserole dish and baking as directed.
More Easy Bone-In Chicken Recipes
- Artichoke Chicken with White Wine Pan Sauce
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings
- Cast Iron Skillet whole Roasted Chicken
- One Pan Apple Chicken with Cider Mustard Pan Sauce
- Creamy Rosemary Garlic Chicken
Did you make these honey garlic chicken drumsticks? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- ½ c soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
- ¼ c honey
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar, or coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 lb chicken drumsticks
- sesame seeds, to garnish
- sliced green onions, to garnish
- Combine the soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, olive oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a measuring cup or small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- Arrange the drumsticks in a casserole dish in a single layer, then pour the marinade over the chicken. Work the marinade into the chicken using your (clean and dry) hands. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 10. Turn the chicken every few hours, time and opportunity permitting.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, then heat the oven to 425°F.
- Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once halfway through, or until the temperature registers 165°F using an instant read thermometer. For extra crispy skin, flip the oven to broiler and broil on high for 3-5 minutes.
- Plate the chicken and drizzle with sauce; garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions and serve immediately.