Sweet & Spicy Marinade for Chicken Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks can be cheap to buy and child friendly (after all they have a built in handle!). They can also be easily picked of meat to make into other dishes which means that you can cook a big batch of chicken drumsticks then use them as the basis of several dishes over the next few days (or freeze the meat for later use).
I had a pack of ten all frozen together so decided to try two new marinades: Sweet & Spicy Marinade and Caramelized Balsamic Marinade (my preference). I used the drumsticks to make: Chicken drumsticks with rice, corn on the cob, and smashed avocado; Shredded chicken with rice, peanut sauce, and fresh rocket from the garden; Chicken Fried Rice -(just add cooked chicken to the linked recipe); Sweet & Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup; a mini chicken pizza with home-made base, and chicken sandwiches.


  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/3c water
  • 1/3 tomato sauce
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Note: I used a generous 1/2c of water in my first attempt and have reduced it to 1/3c for this record. I was also overly generous with the sugar and it definitely doesn’t need more than 1/4c (possibly reduce to 2T). This should come out as a balance of sweet & spicy so you don’t want it to lean too far to the sweet. The sweetness will also be impacted by the type of tomato sauce you use (i.e. are you actually going to use a sugary ketchup, a tangy dark BBQ sauce, or tomato paste because that will give you quite a spectrum of sweetness before you add the brown sugar).


  1. I suggest marinading. This might be anywhere from an hour to all day (I mixed up the marinade at breakfast, fridged them, and cooked them for dinner).
  2. Preheat the oven to 200’C.
  3. Bake the chicken drumsticks till the juices run clear and they are cooked to the bone; this can take about 1 hr 1/4 (75 mins).
  4. Check on the drumsticks regularly to baste and turn every so often. The depth of the marinade will be determined by how many drumsticks you’re cooking and what you kind of tray or dish you’re using. You can see from the photos that I crammed mine into a glass pyrex dish which kept the marinade high and the drumsticks moist. After 40 minutes, I tipped almost all the marinade into a noodle bowl to reserve for Sweet & Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked you may want to change the oven to grill. Keep a careful eye on them (you don’t want them to burn or dry out) and you can get a good colour on both sides.
  6. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice; the remainder of the marinade in the cooking pan can be used as a jus.