Honey Butter Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Recipe developer Julianne De Witt describes the sauce for her honey butter chicken drumsticks as a "perfect harmony of flavors" since you get the sweetness from the honey, the rich taste of butter, some tang from the lemon juice, and a hint of heat from the crushed red pepper. (She notes that if you want more than a hint, you can always increase the amount of pepper flakes.) While the recipe is made from ingredients you probably have on hand, when you put everything together, De Witt says the result is something that's "not your usual roast chicken dinner."

While De Witt admits that "cooking with honey on [the] stovetop can be tricky as higher heat can cause the honey to burn," she has a workaround for this. Instead of cooking the entire dish on the stove, she finishes it up in the oven. As she explains, doing so "provides an even temperature for the sauce to thicken without burning" so that you can enjoy sweet, sticky-sauced, and entirely unscorched chicken legs.

Collect the ingredients for the honey butter chicken drumsticks

To cook the chicken drumsticks, you'll need the chicken itself, of course, along with flour, salt, pepper, and avocado oil. The sauce is made from butter, garlic, honey, lemon (juice and zest), and crushed red pepper.

Step 1: Turn on the oven

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2: Season the flour

Mix the salt and pepper into the flour on a large plate.

Step 3: Coat the chicken legs in seasoned flour

Dredge the drumsticks in the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour.

Step 4: Heat the cooking oil

Heat the avocado oil in an oven-proof frying pan.

Step 5: Brown the chicken legs

Sear the chicken until browned, approximately 2 minutes per side.

Step 6: Melt the butter with the garlic

In a separate pan, melt the butter and add the garlic.

Step 7: Stir in the rest of the ingredients for the sauce

Add honey, lemon juice and zest, and chile flakes to the butter. Stir and heat until the honey is incorporated.

Step 8: Coat the chicken with the sauce

Pour the honey-butter mixture over the drumsticks. Flip the chicken to ensure that the drumsticks are coated in the sauce.

Step 9: Cook the chicken

Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Step 10: Sauce and serve the chicken

Remove chicken from the oven, place the drumsticks on a platter, and drizzle the remaining sauce on top. Serve immediately.

Can I make honey butter chicken with something other than drumsticks?

De Witt calls this recipe "very easy and versatile," noting that it "can be easily multiplied to feed a larger crowd." If you do so, however, you may run across the issue of not everyone liking drumsticks. That's no problem since you can also use the same sauce and cooking technique for thighs, breasts, or even a package of mixed chicken parts or a whole cut-up chicken.

As De Witt cautions, though, the cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the pieces you use. She points out that "using a meat thermometer will ensure that the chicken is not overcooked or undercooked," and it's a good idea to use one even if you do decide to stick to drumsticks. Yet another cooking tip De Witt offers is, "flipping the drumsticks halfway through the cooking time will ensure even browning." this also applies to using any other chicken parts, as well.

How can I serve these honey butter chicken drumsticks?

De Witt tells us, "I like to serve this dish with steamed rice or roast potatoes and sauteed seasonal veggies," but for a lighter option, you could just go with a simple green salad, instead. If you replace the vinegar in the salad dressing with lemon juice, this will echo the citrus used in the honey butter sauce. Many barbecue sides would also go well with this sweet glazed chicken — anything from grilled corn to coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, or buttered biscuits.

The leftovers should last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. While the chicken will taste great cold, De Witt notes that you can heat it in either the microwave or the oven if you prefer to eat it warm. You could also repurpose the meat in chicken salad, quesadillas, soup, pot pie, or just about any other recipe that calls for using a rotisserie chicken.

Honey Butter Chicken Drumsticks Recipe
5 from 11 ratings
These honey butter chicken drumsticks are simple and effective, the sweet-spicy glaze coating the crispy drumsticks for a perfect, shareable dish.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
4
servings
chicken legs on white plate
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the salt and pepper into the flour on a large plate.
  3. Dredge the drumsticks in the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour.
  4. Heat the avocado oil in an oven-proof frying pan.
  5. Sear the chicken until browned, approximately 2 minutes per side.
  6. In a separate pan, melt the butter and add the garlic.
  7. Add honey, lemon juice and zest, and chile flakes to the butter. Stir and heat until the honey is incorporated.
  8. Pour the honey-butter mixture over the drumsticks. Flip the chicken to ensure that the drumsticks are coated in the sauce.
  9. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
  10. Remove chicken from the oven, place the drumsticks on a platter, and drizzle the remaining sauce on top. Serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 709
Total Fat 42.6 g
Saturated Fat 14.4 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 269.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 17.7 g
Sodium 763.0 mg
Protein 49.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe