This Asian Grilled Chicken Drumsticks recipe is a great way to put a delicious twist on inexpensive chicken drumsticks this grilling season. The sweet and salty Asian chicken marinade adds incredible flavor and helps the chicken maintain moisture.
The Asian chicken marinade recipe is also perfect for other cuts of chicken beside chicken legs, especially other dark meat cuts like boneless skinless chicken thighs. It's great on chicken wings, and yes you can use it on breast meat too!
These Asian Chicken Drumsticks are actually a melding of a simple soy sauce based Asian BBQ sauce and a technique I recently found to slash chicken skin to help marinade penetrate.
I stumble upon a recipe called Psycho Chicken... yup, they went there. The recipe wasn't what I was looking for, but I found the technique used in it, of slashing the chicken skin all over intriguing. This allows the marinate to absorb into the meat well, while the remaining skin helps lock in moisture (removing chicken skin can be a cumbersome task on some poultry cuts too). I moved on, but still had haunting visions of a hapless chicken getting the business from Norman Bates.
Not grilling weather? Make air fryer chicken drumsticks using the Asian marinade.
Asian BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
These grilled drumsticks are marinated in a Ponzu /soy sauce mixture with curry powder, vinegar and brown sugar. I added a bit of vinegar and fresh lime juice for acid.
I put the drumsticks into a zippered storage bag with the Asian chicken marinade and tossed them to coat. The chicken was left to marinate for four hours.
Grill the drumsticks, over medium for 20-25 minutes, flipping over at the halfway point. For extra flavor: Cook the leftover marinade down a bit, then baste the chicken with it as it cooks.
When serving sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds or finely sliced green onions.
These Asian Chicken Drumsticks are only slightly spicy and pair well with many other BBQ favorites.
- Serve some Classic Macaroni Salad along with the juicy drumsticks.
- A Creamy Pea Salad makes a nice contrast against the light sweetness of the Asian marinade on the chicken.
- Pineapple BBQ Pork Ribs are a great alternative protein when serving this chicken.
- Refreshing crisp Asian Cucumber salad is a great choice with these Asian Glazed chicken drumsticks.
- For a side dish with some crunch factor, Broccoli Salad with Bacon is a wonderful option.
- Sweet Chili Orange Grilled Pork Chops have a bit of Asian flair too, making them great plate mates at the cookout!
In the mood for a sandwich? Try my Asian Chicken Burger with Broccoli Slaw.
Asian Chicken Drumsticks - grilled
- 1 ½ pounds chicken drumsticks approximate
Asian Chicken Marinade
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or 1 tbs soy sauce & 1 tbs Ponzu sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced ( 1 - 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic)
- Whisk together ingredients for marinate.
- Cut a few slashes into the skin of each drumstick, it is OK if you go into the meat a little.
- Combine the marinate and drumsticks in zippered storage bag and marinate for about 4 hours.
- Preheat grill, then reduce to medium when you put drumsticks on (reserve the marinate).
- While drumsticks are cooking zap the marinate in the microwave for 1 ½ minutes, stir, then zap another minute if needed, just enough to thicken the marinate a little for basting.
- Turn the drumsticks after 10-12 minutes. Then turn and baste in about 10 more minutes.
- Let glaze set (1-2 minutes), then turn & baste other side. Remove chicken when that glaze sets.