Spicy Chicken Drumsticks

Spicy chicken drumsticks prepared with a Carribean jerk rub and then broiled.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • 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 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon 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)
  • Extra virgin olive oil


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

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

3 Prepare oven and chicken for broiling: 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 the chicken: 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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  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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?

  • jonathan

    Yah Mon! Love ‘dat jerk chicken. But, you do have to use that scotch bonnet for authenticity (yikes! they’re hot! go half-sies!). And how appropriate on the anniversary (02/06/07) of what would’ve been Bob Marley’s 62nd birthday. For full effect, throw on your favorite reggae tunes and wash this spicy Jamaican treat down with a Red Stripe lager. No problem, Mon!

  • lydia

    Everything, even the lowly drumstick, tastes better with chile paste. In my house, that habanero would be required!

  • Jenny

    That sounds yummy! When you say broiler is that the same as a roasting tray? As Im from Ireland sometimes Im not familiar with the terms you use but I will deffinately give these a try

    • Peter Perenyi

      The broiler is the flame at the top of the oven to apply more direct heat. A broiler pan has a slotted top which raises the meant a few inches nearer the flame and drains grease through the slots. The pan below catches grease. You judge whether this fits the description of a roasting tray. Good luck!