Sticky Honey Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks

Sticky Honey Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks

Whenever you roast a chicken, there are only two drumsticks. All three of my kids love the drumstick and there aren’t ever enough to go around. Truth be told, I’ve always been a drumstick lover myself, but I’ve been ever-so-sacrificially surrendering my drumsticks to the kids for several years now. Recently, I spotted a pack of six drumsticks for a steal of a price at the market, and I wondered why I never just buy drumsticks. Silly, I thought to myself, since four of us favor them and Pastor Alaska is happy to eat them if I can get the skin nice and crispy. And they’re super inexpensive. Seems like a no-brainer. Facepalm. It seemed like even more of a no-brainer when my six-year-old daughter emphatically declared the name of this recipe to be “Delicious Chicken.”


Since April in Alaska means there’s still some snow on the ground and the temperatures have been hovering just above freezing, with forecasts for still more fresh snow this weekend, we haven’t been grilling outdoors yet this year. This recipe is ideal for when you’re craving something off the grill but it’s not quite the right season. This sticky sweet marinade comes together quickly, then you just roast these drumsticks in a hot oven (using the same cooling-rack-atop-foil-lined-baking-sheet technique I used in this recipe that gets the chicken nice and crispy) for 30 minutes, while you simmer and reduce the marinade on the stovetop. Brush the drumsticks with the glaze, pop them back into the oven for another 10 minutes, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions. Delicious chicken, indeed.

Sticky Honey Balsamic Baked Chicken Drumsticks


Oven-baked chicken drumsticks in a sticky sweet Honey Balsamic marinade. Adapted from [The Comfort of Cooking|].

Yields: 6 drumsticks

  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced on the bias

In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, soy, brown sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Marinade the drumsticks in the mixture in a shallow covered dish or a sealed plastic zipper bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to 24.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place the drumsticks onto the cooking rack. Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan. Set aside. Roast the drumsticks in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, simmer the marinade on the stove over medium-low heat until reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from the oven, brush generously with the reduced marinade, and return the chicken to the oven for another 10 minutes. When the chicken is done, sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onions and serve.


As a fellow a lover of drumsticks I am quite excited about these.  They sound incredible!


We had these last night (with Laurie's Easy Fried Rice!) and they were delicious!! Thank you again for an amazing recipe. I do have one question, thought I think it may be a silly one. My kitchen reeked of burnt marinade for a while from the drippings that burned on the tinfoil while the drumsticks cooked. Do you have any advice to prevent that?

alaskafromscratch moderator

@sharolschulz  So happy you enjoyed this recipe! :) As for the burnt drippings, perhaps try letting most of the marinade drip off (shake them vigorously into the sink?) prior to placing them onto the rack/pan? That may decrease the amount that burns onto the foil at least in the first 30 minutes prior to when you brush on the thickened marinade. Then, at that point, I'm thinking it's unavoidable. :) But it may help diminish the smoke overall. 


@alaskafromscratch  Thank you! I will try that next time to see if it helps. And it's finally warm enough, so maybe I'll just leave the windows open next time. :-)

arthur b66
arthur b66

@sharolschulz  Hi put a shallow dish with water underneath that will capture the drippings but prevents it burning


Delicious Chicken sounds like a great name to me! ;) Looks awesome!


These look excellent and I think this is what will be for dinner tomorrow.  My boys will love them, thank you for this awesome recipe!!


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