Soy sauce, sriracha, honey and balsamic vinegar bring amazing flavor to these super tender Slow Cooker Asian Glazed Chicken Drumsticks! You’re going to love this easy chicken dinner recipe.
The Most Flavorful Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks
You know what they say: friends don’t let friends make bland chicken! Okay, fine, maybe that’s not a real saying, but it should be! Because, making super flavorful chicken is easy, and that’s where this simple and delicious recipe comes in.
Here, we’re going with chicken drumsticks. I think drumsticks are an under-appreciated part of chicken. They’re juicy, flavorful, and they cook easily in a crock pot. They also stand up well to the bold flavors of balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, sriracha and more.
What Makes This Recipe So Good? The Sauce!
So let’s talk about the sauce. Do you sometimes feel intimidated by sauce-making and unsure how to go about it? Don’t be! Making a sauce can be really complex if you want it to be, but it can also be simple! Some of my favorite sauces are nothing more than a few tasty ingredients mixed together in proportions that work.
This sauce is a perfect example! It’s not necessary to steep this or saute that, to pull out your double-boiler or coddle any eggs. Instead, we’re just going to whisk together some easy-to-use, easy-to-find ingredients.
But, the result of this honey-sriracha-sauce is out of this world! It’s a wonderful balance of sweet, salty, tangy and hot. You’re gonna want to make it again and again.
You’ll notice that this recipe makes about 3 pounds of drumsticks! That might seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. A lot of the weight is because we’re using bone-in chicken. If you’d like, feel free to substitute bone-in thighs; they’re equally delicious.
- Drumsticks: You’ll need 3 pounds of chicken drumsticks. Some people prefer skinless, but you can use either.
For the Sauce
- Honey: The sweetness in the sauce is from ¼ cup of your favorite honey.
- Soy Sauce: You’ll also need ¼ cup of soy sauce; I use low-sodium soy sauce. If you’d like, you can substitute tamari or coconut aminos.
- Balsamic Vinegar: This richly-flavored condiment adds an amazingly savory flavor to the sauce.
- Brown Sugar: Just a couple of tablespoons.
- Fresh Garlic: Mince or press six cloves of garlic. You can substitute 1 ½ teaspoons of garlic powder, if necessary.
- Sriracha: I love sriracha! It has such an intense, umami flavor, full of heat and deliciousness. 1 tablespoon gives the sauce a nice kick.
- Ground Ginger: Just a teaspoon picks the sauce up and gives it a lovely fresh zing.
For the Slurry
- Water: You’ll need 2 tablespoons of cold water.
- Cornstarch: 2 tablespoons of cornstarch blended with the water make the perfect sauce thickener.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro
How to Make Slow Cooker Asian Glazed Chicken Legs
This is a really easy, basic method for cooking chicken drumsticks. They always come out tender and full of flavor! You can thicken the sauce using a slurry, or serve it as-is.
- Make Sauce: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, sriracha and ground ginger.
- Pour Sauce Over Chicken: Place the drumsticks in a 6.5-quart or larger slow cooker; pour the soy sauce mixture over the chicken drumsticks and gently toss to coat.
- Slow-Cook Chicken: Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours, or on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours.
- Thicken Sauce (Optional): If you’d like to thicken the sauce, make a slurry about 15 minutes before the chicken is done, by whisking together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir the slurry into the chicken and sauce; cover again, and cook on HIGH heat for 10 to 12 more minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Enjoy! Serve your drumsticks with sauce and top with sesame seeds and cilantro.
Tips for the Best Chicken Drumsticks
But wait, there’s more! Yes, this recipe is great on its own, but I’ve also got a handful of nifty tips to help you make the most of your delicious ingredients. Read on, and enjoy!
- Use a Liner: Crock pot liners are so helpful, especially when you’re making a glazed recipe like this one. It’ll save you time and hassle, making clean-up super easy.
- Broil ‘Em Up: Want to get a little crispy finish on your drumsticks? No problem! Just line a baking sheet with parchment paper and throw your drumsticks under a hot broiler for a minute or two. This will take them from glazed, to glazed AND crispy!
- Watch the Time: Most people cook chicken in the crock pot until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender. I love it that way too, but you can also turn the crockpot off sooner, for less meltingly tender chicken. Just make sure it is fully cooked at 165°F – use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to check.
Need some good ideas for sides and appetizers? I’ve rounded up a few that I think you will love. They’re easy, healthy and delicious!
- Egg Drop Soup: A takeout favorite, Egg Drop Soup has a light, nourishing flavor thanks to the broth, and a satisfying texture thanks to oodles of ribbony eggs. Best of all? It’s easy, fast, and fun to make!
- Crab Rangoons: Another yummy takeout-inspired side dish, these Crab Rangoon Wontons are crispy, crunchy, and full of creamy crab filling.
- Zucchini Fries: The mellow flavor and bold crunch of Air Fryer Parmesan Zucchini Fries is a fun way to serve more veggies, and they go super well with this yummy chicken!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To refrigerate leftover drumsticks, place them (along with any leftover sauce) in airtight containers and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat them, place the drumsticks and sauce in a covered saucepan or skillet over low heat until completely heated through. You can also bake the drumsticks, covered, at 350°F until heated through.
Can I Freeze These?
- Sure! You can definitely freeze these tasty glazed drumsticks. Just place them in freezer bags and press out as much air as possible before sealing.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Frozen drumsticks will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Slow Cooker Asian Glazed Drumsticks
- Slow Cooker
- 3 pounds chicken drumsticks
For the Sauce
For the Slurry
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Place drumsticks in a 6.5-quart, or larger, slow cooker; set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, sriracha and ground ginger.
- Pour soy sauce mixture over the chicken drumsticks and gently toss to coat.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours, or on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours. Chicken is cooked through when internal temperature register at 165˚F.
- If you’d like to thicken the sauce, make a slurry about 15 minutes before the chicken is done: in a small bowl or cup, whisk together water and cornstarch.
- Remove cover from slow cooker and stir the slurry into the sauce; recover and cook on HIGH heat for 10 to 12 more minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
- Serve drumsticks with sauce and top with sesame seeds and cilantro.
- To crisp up the drumsticks, after cooking them, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, arrange drumsticks on the baking sheet and pop them under a hot broiler for a minute or two, or until crispy.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro, and serve.
More Chicken Recipes to Try
I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many chicken recipes! Here are a few more of my very favorites.