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Chicken Drumsticks Recipe – Savory, Sweet and Spicy

Chicken Drumsticks Recipe - Savory, Sweet, Spicy | The Foodie Eats

Chicken Drumsticks Recipe – Savory, Sweet and Spicy

One day last year, I was doing some Google searching for a great chicken drumsticks recipe. For some reason that day, nothing was exciting me. During this same time, I was also doing some research on different flavor combinations. This recipe is the result of that day.

First things first, I am always looking for an excuse to use my Cast Iron Skillet. If you do not own one, I highly recommend you upgrade your life as soon as possible. There is no other kitchen tool that will give you a sear like that of a cast iron skillet. On a side note: stop using soap to clean your cast iron. You’re washing all the goodness away. I know it sounds weird, but trust me.

The Dish Formerly Known as

Indian-Island Chicken

I originally referred to this recipe as my “Indian-Island Chicken.” The flavors are a combination of those two cultures, but I would always have to explain what it meant. So, bye-bye name. And for as delicious as this recipe is, one might expect the method to be a little more challenging. But it is actually pretty simple. I hope you enjoy it!

Chicken Drumsticks Recipe | The Foodie Eats

The Method

Chicken Drumsticks Recipe - Savory, Sweet and Spicy
Recipe type: One-Pot | Cast Iron Skillet
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 8-9 chicken legs
  • ¼ cup grape seed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 small onion – diced
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit – juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less as desired)
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz.)
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Season chicken legs with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat until hot, then add oil. Once oil is hot, add chicken and thoroughly brown on all sides.
  4. Remove chicken and set aside. Drain most of oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons.
  5. Reduce to medium heat, add onions, star anise, and cinnamon sticks – sauté for 2 minutes. Then add garlic and red pepper flakes – sauté for 30 seconds.
  6. Add juice of 1 grapefruit to deglaze pan, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste. Then add browned chicken, increase heat, and bring to boil.
  8. Move skillet to center oven rack and bake uncovered for 35 minutes.
  9. Top with fresh parsley and enjoy!
It is very important to bring your pan back up to a strong boil before moving to the oven. This is the only way that your sauce will reduce down to the creamy goodness you want.