"Honey sriracha chicken that's baked so tender the meat falls off the bone. The sticky glaze is made with a perfect blend of tangy, spicy, and sweet."
Earlier this week, I sent The Boyfriend to the grocery store to pick up some items I needed to make his not-just-plain-steak steak dinner.
I normally wouldn’t have asked, but being the klutz that I am I managed to injure my knee the night before. Because apparently “sitting down in bed” is an activity I should have approached with more caution.
So while I was stranded on the couch with an ice pack, he went off to the grocery store with my very specific set of instructions. And being the awesome guy that he is, he managed to find every time on the list. He even scored me some free cooking twine.
He also brought home something that wasn’t on the list:
A whole roasted chicken for us to have for lunch.
Now, I don’t usually eat a lot of “bone in” chicken (is that a thing?) but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that every time we go to the grocery store my guy will always leave with some chicken from the deli. Sometimes it’s fried, sometimes baked, or sometimes grilled – the method doesn’t seem to matter to him as long as drumsticks and wings are involved.
And I guess the grocery store deli is the only place he can get his fix, because I only ever buy chicken breasts. It never even crossed my mind to pick up a different type of chicken.
The next day, my knee was healed enough to do our regular grocery shopping, and while I was there I decided I would give him a treat for being such a good sport with my shopping demands: I would bravely step outside of my chicken-breast-comfort-zone and try to cook him some drumsticks.
And I’m not going to lie to you: The reason why I don’t eat a lot of drumsticks and wings because they’re messy.
So when I finally decided I was going to give this recipe a try, I figured my goal should be just to go big or go home.
Because if I’m going to eat a messy food, then it’s going to be deliciously and gloriously messy. Like so messy that if I don’t have sauce on my forehead and right knee (and everywhere inbetween) then I obviously didn’t do something right. And the first image that came to my mind to fit that description?
Those uber sticky chicken drumsticks with the dark and gooey coating.
I set off to google a couple different recipes to get the cooking method down, but in the end I opted to adapt this honey sriracha sauce as the glaze. I almost went crazy and made some sriracha cream sauce for dipping, but I already knew that me eating these drumsticks would be like a reenactment of a scene from Quest of Fire.
No need to add something else that’ll just end up running down the front of my shirt.
But, I still think having that as a dipping sauce would be a killer idea.
I guess there’s always next time!
And I’m happy to say, there will so totally be a next time that I make this, because my take on sticky chicken drumsticks as a huge success. The chicken was extremely tender, to the point where it was falling off the bone as I served our plates. The sauce was just the right balance of tangy, sweet, and spicy, but the recipe is flexible enough to customize it to your tastes.
And the best part? All my fussing about this being messy meal ended up being for nothing. The worst of it was just a few sticky fingers and a little sauce on my nose. I think I can handle that.
Sticky Honey Sriracha Drumsticks
- 2-3 lbs chicken drumsticks
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp parsley fresh and chopped (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
- Prepare drumsticks by rinsing with water and patting dry with a paper towel. If desired, remove skin. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add balsamic vinegar, honey, sriracha, brown sugar, soy sauce, and garlic. Whisk together until smooth. Taste test sauce - if you'd like it spicy, add another tablespoon of sriracha. If you'd like it sweeter, add another tablespoon of honey.
- Pour honey sriracha marinade in a large zip lock bag. Add drumsticks and toss to coat. Squeeze excess air out of bag and seal. Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, turning half way through if possible.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. Place an oven safe rack (sterling silver, not black coated) on top of the foil, so that the setup creates a makeshift grill.
- Place drumsticks on rack setup and set bag with marinade to the side (do not throw away). Bake drumsticks in the oven for 30 minutes or until outside of chicken is caramelized and there are few dark spots.
- While chicken cooks, pour marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to heat marinade so that there are vigorous bubbles but sauce is not boiling over. Let sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Sauce is ready once bubbles have become big & slow, sauce seems "spotted" (with bubbles), and the sauce can coat the back of a spoon. Set heat to low while chicken finishes.
- When ready, remove chicken from oven. Using a baster brush, coat both sides of the dumbsticks with the thickened marinade. Return chicken to oven and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately.