Spicy Chicken Drumsticks


We often cook all drumsticks or all thighs when we prepare chicken. We love the more flavorful dark meat and the fact that the chicken pieces all get done around the same time. The following recipe is based on one for jerk chicken that my father found in Fine Cooking magazine. Wonderful flavor and the drumsticks cook up quickly.

Spicy Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 5 to 6.


  • 10 green onions (scallions), white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 habanero or Scotch Bonnet chile (or 3 serrano chilies), seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for additional seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 10 chicken dumsticks (3 1/2 lbs)
  • Olive oil, grapeseed oil, or other high smoke point cooking oil


1 In a food processor, purée the green onions, chilies, vinegar, garlic, thyme, allspice, salt and pepper into a thick paste.

2 Put the drumsticks in a large bowl and coat with the chili paste. Let stand for 10 minutes.

3 Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and set the broiler to high. Coat the bottom of a broiler pan (under the perforated top part of the pan) with oil. (Note that a broiler pan really works best here. A regular baking pan may warp under the high heat of the broiler.) Arrange the drumsticks on the pan and sprinkle generously with salt.

4 Broil chicken, turning once after about 10 minutes. Continue broiling until cooked through (juices run clear when poked with a knife tip) and nicely browned, about 20 minutes total. Note that some pieces may cook faster than others, in which case remove the pieces that are done and continue to cook the rest until cooked through.

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Adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine.

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Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • Elise

    Ah, broiler pan versus roasting pan. A broiling pan has very low sides, and a perforated insert so that the drippings run off to the pan below. See this broiler pan set for an example.

    A roasting pan is typically high sided with a rack inside as per this example.

    Broiler pans are designed to be able to endure the high heat (upwards of 500°F) of the broiler element, so they won’t warp. They also allow air flow from side to side.

  • Tim

    It looks and sounds delicious – crispy chicken is the only way to go!

  • lobstersquad

    Your father sounds like he really knows his stuff. I´m going to try the sauerkraut thing today for dinner, I´ll let you know how it was.

  • Alanna

    Jenny ~ re the ‘broiler’, I don’t know what you’d call it but a broiler is inside the oven, mine’s on the top but I think I’ve read some are on the bottom, too. It provides very intense direct heat but is still inside the oven. I heard someone recently refer to it an ‘inside grill’ (which means I may never light the ‘outside grill’ on the patio again!). It’s very, very hot and at least on my oven, has a different control than say, the settings for baking. It’s great to use the broiler for lamb chops (or Elise’s chicken legs!!) or some times you’ll finish off a gratin, say, under the broiler (after it’s cooked with standard oven heat) to brown a bit of cheese on top, etc. Hope this indirect explanation helps!

  • alamobecky

    Wow — I think I’ll make this for poker night with the girls later this month. Any suggestions on make-ahead accompaniments?

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