Finger Licking Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

This Sticky Chicken Drumsticks recipe has a rich and dark glaze heavy with chilli and an unusual ingredient that sprinkles a bit of magic!

Portrait image of sticky glazed chicken drumsticks with snipped chives served with herbed potato wedges

Sticky Finger Food.

For me, there is just something about drumsticks. Sure the thigh has a little more flavour but mother nature never made the thigh with a perfect little handle.

Just like my beer and honey drumsticks you’ll need be licking your fingers clean after these and no matter how many you make people will still ask for more!

We have a dry rub for an earthy flavour that permeates the chicken skin.

Then we go with a rich and dark sweet glaze that caramelises when the drummers are cooked.

The ingredients in this recipe may seem odd, but they simply just work and are perfect served alongside some potato wedges!

Portrait close up image of sticky glazed chicken drumsticks

Using Different Chicken Cuts.

You can swap out the drumsticks for thighs or even chicken wings with no problems. All you have to do is change your timing.

If you want to use wings then you can cook them in an Air Fryer, the oven or the BBQ.

They will cook in about 25 minutes in an air fryer, for a clearer guide on timing then check out my Pineapple Chicken Wings.

Wings in the oven will take around 40 minutes and the timing is best illustrated in my Date Glazed Wing Recipe.

And on the BBQ wings with this coating will cook in around half an hour and the timing is best followed from my BBQ Sriracha Wing Recipe.

If you want to use chicken thighs, then the methodology and timing remain identical to this one.

Just ensure that the chicken has reached 73°C or 165°F at its thickest point before serving.

Portrait close up image of sticky glazed chicken drumsticks with snipped chives served with herbed potato wedges

Cooking On The BBQ.

These chicken drummers work really well on a BBQ, the process is simple.

You want to carry out the dry rub process and make up the glaze as per my recipe.

When you are ready to cook, I coat the drummers with a thin coating of the glaze and sear over some hot coals.

The aim is not really to cook them here, just get a little colour and caramelise the initial coating.

Then transfer to the indirect heat section of the grill and close the lid and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Brushing with more of the glaze every 10 minutes or so.

Finally, flash them over the direct heat for a final 2-3 minutes to finish off.

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinade Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

A rich and dark sticky glaze is applied after a dry rub is applied to flavour these sweet, sour and spicy, sticky chicken drumsticks!



  • 6 Chicken Drumsticks

For the Dry Rub

  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Hot Paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Tsp Ground Cloves

For the Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Black Treacle
  • 2 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Cherry Jam


  1. Mix together the garlic, paprika, salt, black pepper and garlic cloves in a bag or 'tupperware' box and add the chicken drumsticks, shake well and allow to infuse for 1-2 hours
  2. Then prepare your glaze by adding all of the ingredients into a pan and bringing to a simmer and then reducing until unctuous and sticky
  3. Roll the chicken around in the warmed glaze until well coated and place on a 'cooling grid' on a baking tray.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.
  5. Baste every 10 minutes with more of the glaze.


Substitute molasses for black treacle.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 678Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 347mgSodium: 1779mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 68g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

42 thoughts on this Recipe:

    • Hey Patti, 200°C is 400°F, you will be pleased to know I am going through my site and adding Fahrenheit temperatures in addition to Celcius.

    • These really are fantastic, one of the first recipes on my site and one of the best and unusually for tinterweb one of the most popular too 😀

  1. Hi Brian these drumsticks look so yummy! Do you think I could make them ahead, say in a Friday night and store them then preheat them the following day and serve?

    • Hi Colleen, I see no reason why not, they will no be quite as good as fresh from the oven, I always find reheated chicken looses a little, although you could try dropping a bowl of water in the oven whilst you are preheatng it to generate some steam that will hopefully add a little moisture when you reheat the chicken. Enjoy 🙂

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  3. Hey Brian,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I made these today with a little twist! They were stunning but sweet as hell haha 🙂 I link back to your site as soon as I’ve published the recipe!

    Cheers and thank you very much for inspiring me!

    • Superb, they are a little on the sweet side but I kinda like that, glad you enjoyed them look forward to seeing your version 🙂

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  10. Sweet and Spicy God in heaven! These look like I died and went to heaven! Thanks for sharing this at #SaucySaturdays!

  11. OMG you mixed the paprikas! You mad man! And I also have homework cuz I ‘ve no idea what black treacle is. But it’s worth it because I can do this in oven and that makes me so happy. Thanks for linking at #SaucySaturdays, Brian. Also, I’m glad you didn’t “neaten them up.” Love them just like this in all their sticky glory.

    • I guess the mixed Paprika is a Hungarian thing, they play levels of paprika like an orchestra plays instruments… These definitely needed the finger licking bits at the end to keep ’em real 😉

  12. These look incredible Brian! 🙂 I absolutely love how beautifully sticky and flavourful they look! Some foods just need a big pile of napkins! 😀 Thank you for sharing this with us at #SaucySaturdays!

  13. Brian you cant keep doing this to me buddy! Chicken drumsticks never looked this good! It makes me wish I had some chicken in my fridge right now .. Thanks for linking up at #SaucySaturdays

  14. The photo alone made me so hungry!! Its like I could almost smell this dish from here. Look so good! 🙂

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  16. Brian this sounds scrumptious, I’ve never used sweet and hot paprika at the same time, I assume they’re complimentary?

    • Sweet and hot paprika are definitely complimentary, they are essentially just ground up dried peppers of different varieties… They are there to do two different jobs, the warm sweet mellowness of the sweet paprika is like a foundation underpinning everything and the heat zing of of the spicy comes in much later 🙂

  17. With the dead batteries, the shots are beautiful..Looks like a perfect fit for the summer evening.. Loving the presentation..

    • Black treacle is a dark, thick, sugar syrup… For a substitute you could use Molasses, there is a technical difference in terms of how they are produced, however the flavours are very similar.

  18. This chicken looks amazing! Totally agree with you that the messiness of chicken drumsticks is half the fun. 🙂

    • Skin on for me Jo, but I love chicken skin, it has so much flavour… I have even been known to remove it grill it off until crispy, let it cool & blitz, then add it to the breadcrumb mix for Kievs 🙂

        • Be prepared to have you mind blown… I do it with pork crackling too and make ‘pulled pork’ deep fried balls with crackling mixed in with the bread crumbs 😮


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