These Thai-inspired, maple and balsamic oven baked chicken drumsticks are perfect for a family dinner or backyard barbecue. Sticky, sweet, and slightly spicy, these oven baked chicken drumsticks glazed with maple, balsamic make a great finger food or appetizer at parties! This marinade recipe can just as easily be used for chicken wings or even breasts, as it is for the chicken drumsticks I used.
Keep in mind, the larger the cut of meat the longer it will need to marinate to absorb all of the delicious flavors. If you’re into heat, you can also kick up the spice factor by adding your favorite chilli or hot sauce to the marinade mix. In this recipe, I oven baked the chicken drumsticks, but once it warms up outside you can easily cook these on the BBQ.
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How To Marinate Chicken
So let’s dig in! First, you’ll want to start by making the chicken marinade. Get all your ingredients together, and mixing them together in a large bowl. Make sure that the bowl is large enough to accommodate whichever meat you have chosen to marinate. Mix all the marinade ingredients together BEFORE adding in the chicken, so that you can taste and season it properly!
When marinating meats (chicken especially), it is best to marinate the meat in the fridge, this reduces the amount of time spent at room temperature and in the “Danger Zone“(the temperature range where bacteria multiplies the quickest).
Once you have the marinade mixed together, ladle out a quarter of it into a small pot or pan to heat on the stove. This will be your “sauce” you can use to glaze the chicken as it is baking. Add your chicken to the rest of the marinade, and toss it really well! Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and really mix the marinade through. You want to make sure that every little part gets covered with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
The balsamic vinegar in this marinade helps tenderize the chicken while at the same time adding that punch of flavor that balsamic gives to food. The older (aged) the balsamic vinegar you choose to use, the deeper and sweeter the flavor will be in the end product. If you are just using a cheaper product though you can always add a splash or two more to suit your taste.
Make sure to taste test the marinade BEFORE adding the raw chicken! – Chef Markus
Maple Balsamic Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks
Once the chicken has finished marinating, place the raw marinated chicken drumsticks on a sheet pan.
You have two options here:
- you can place the chicken on a roasting grill, (like I have),
- place them directly on a greased sheet pan or one lined with some parchment paper. If you use the roasting grill, the chicken will take on more of a roasted and glazed look and will cook more evenly all the way around.
You will need to regularly baste the chicken with the marinade mix (the portion you used to marinate the chicken in), to ensure the meat stays tender and evenly glazed. If you place the drumsticks directly on the sheet pan, the juices and marinade, that drip off the chicken will collect in the pan and prevent the bottom half of the chicken from glazing over properly. If this is the route you chose, you can use the portion of the marinade you set aside earlier and toss the drumsticks in that once fully cooked.
How long does it take to cook chicken drumsticks in the oven?
Roast the marinated chicken drumsticks in a pre-heated oven at 375F for about 1 hour. The meat should be starting to pull back from the skinny end of the bone a little, and the oven baked chicken drumsticks should be nice a crispy.
Make sure that you baste the chicken often, the sugar will caramelize as it cooks, and create a delicious sticky glaze. Halfway through the cooking, you can turn and flip the chicken drumsticks to help them cook more evenly. You can either serve them right away, tossed in any leftover glaze, or cool them down and save for another meal. Obviously they taste best fresh from the oven!
Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks Glazed with Maple & Balsamic
Marinade & Glaze
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1/4 tsp crushed red chilies
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1/4 bunch chives finely chopped
- 3 lb chicken drumsticks or wings
- Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and set aside half of the mix.
- Marinate the chicken drumsticks in half of marinade mix for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Roast the chicken in the oven at 375F for about 1 hour, making sure to baste the chicken often with the raw marinade mixture. If cooking on a barbecue, grill chicken 3/4 done before starting to glaze the meat with a brush. keep brushing the glaze onto the chicken until desired deliciousness is achieved.
- While the chicken is roasting in the oven, heat the saved marinade mix and simmer. Thicken with either cornstarch or roux until the sauce coats a spoon. Keep hot and use as extra dipping sauce or pour over the meat right before serving for extra sticky juiciness.