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Sweet & Tangy Chicken Drumsticks

  • Author: Our Best Bites


  • 810 medium-large chicken drumsticks
  • Rub
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion (see note)
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated American Heritage Chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Pat chicken dry and lay on a piece of foil or a cutting board. Pull the skin back at least half-way and trim off with a pair of clean kitchen shears or scissors.
  3. Combine rub spices and sprinkle over all sides of chicken, lightly patting in with clean hands. In a separate bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, honey, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
  4. Place a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and tilt to cover bottom of pan. Arrange chicken pieces in pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear. Remove chicken pieces and place back on your foil or cutting board.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add butter, onion, and garlic to pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or just until softened. As it cooks, use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the chicken off the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add ketchup mixture to pan and raise heat again to medium, stirring until sauce comes to a simmer. Turn heat off. Sprinkle in chocolate and stir to incorporate and melt.
  7. Add chicken drumsticks back to pan, turning to coat each one in sauce and arrange in a single layer. Use potholders to transfer hot pan to oven and bake for 45 minutes. Internal temperature should reach at least 165 degrees.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.


  • 1. Take a whole onion and simply grate it across a cheese grater until it results in 2 tablespoons (juice and pulp). This fine texture will cook quickly and melt into the sauce so there are not bits of crunchy onion in the smooth sauce.
  • 2. If you don’t have Cast iron, any 12-inch oven proof skillet will work.
  • 3. If you don’t have American Heritage Chocolate, you can substitute dark or bittersweet.