Balsamic Honey Lacquered Chicken Drumsticks

Balsamic Honey Lacquered Chicken


I cook with chicken drumsticks… a lot. The main reason is they’re cheap. I recently got a bag of 13 drumsticks for only five bucks at my local international market. Hard to beat, especially when that makes at least four meals each for two people. However, cooking drumsticks can get a little boring if you don’t have lots of different ways to make them tasty.

I’m a big Pinterest gal. I’ve been using it since it was still in beta testing and an invitation only website. So, I’ve had several years to troll around and find lots of great recipes to try. This recipe is one I found about two years ago, and make on a pretty regular basis. The sauce is THE BOMB. Originally posted on The Novice Chef (an awesome food blog), the photo was what drew me in. The fact that I had all the ingredients for the sauce in my pantry was why I tried it. The flavor is what’s kept me coming back again and again to this recipe.

Balsamic Honey Lacquered ChickenI think of these drumsticks as the Marco Polo of sauces – a perfect blend of Italian and Asian influences. The sweetness of balsamic and honey, combined with the zip of ginger and garlic, with just enough saltiness from the soy sauce – absolutely scrumptious!

I think they’re also a great way to introduce kids to more complex and interesting flavors than ketchup and BBQ sauce. Plus, they’ll love how messy they are to eat! You’ll love that they’re baked and not fried.

I serve them with rice and make sure to use all the sauce I can, drizzling any leftover on the rice. I’ve doubled the amount of sauce from the original recipe because it’s divine and you simply can’t have too much of it. Plus, you want to be sure you have plenty to really lacquer the drumsticks generously, making them a dark mahogany color that’s a wonderful combination of crispy skin and sweet glaze. But don’t feel you only have to use it only for drumsticks. It’s great with any cut of chicken, so long as you keep it on the bone and make sure it’s cooked through.

I didn’t have any sesame seeds or parsley when I made it recently, but if you’ve got either or both, be sure to throw them on. They add just the right touch of nuttiness and brightness to this rich, sweet sauce. Hope you give them a try and let me know what you think.

Happy eating!

Kate xoxo


Sweet Sticky Chicken 5Balsamic Honey Lacquered Chicken Drumsticks


  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 C. honey
  • 1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
  • 4 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1Tbs. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Garnish (optional)

  • 1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley
  1. Balsamic Honey Lacquered Chicken Place the drumsticks in a large ziploc bag.
  2. In a bowl whisk together all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken. Seal and place the chicken in a bowl to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. I usually make it the night before and let it go for a full day. Be sure to turn the bag over occasionally throughout the marinating time to make sure all the chicken is evenly seasoned.
  4. When you’re ready to cook. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire cooling rack on top.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Remove the chicken from the bag and place them on the rack. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.
  7. While the chicken is cooking, take the marinade and place it in a medium size sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then bring the temperature down to a lightly bubbling simmer. Whisking constantly for approximately 15 minutes.
  8. Once the marinade has thickened and lightly coats the back of a spoon, turn off the heat.
  9. After the first 25 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken from the oven. Using tongs, take each piece of chicken and put them in the marinade, making sure to even coat it with the sauce. Place the chicken back on the rack.
  10. Place the chicken back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove, and coat again with the sauce. Placing them back on the rack.
  11. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes to finish cooking. Internal temperature of the chicken should read 150 degrees, and any juices should run clear.
  12. When done, coat one more time with the sauce in the pot.
  13. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and parsley and serve.



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