Recipe: Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs

published Mar 9, 2017
Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs
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Credit: Lauren Volo

Chicken is a regular at dinner for so many reasons, but this recipe for savory-sweet brown sugar glazed chicken shows you just how versatile it can be. Drumsticks and thighs are baked until crispy, then they get brushed with the pantry-friendly glaze. It’s a simple mixture of tamari, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar that you can customize to make as sweet or savory as you like.

Choose Drumsticks and Thighs for Cost and Flavor

These dark meat cuts are often priced lower than lean chicken breasts, but the flavor they deliver certainly doesn’t come at a discount. The drumsticks and thighs are the two most flavorful parts of the bird and often come with the bone in and skin on. Sometimes sold in those wonderful combination family packs, stock up when they’re on sale to portion (ask the butcher to do it for you) for freezing.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

A Quick Trick for Crispier Skin

For even crispier skin, this recipe starts by giving the chicken pieces a simple coating of baking powder and salt. Baking powder leaves you with chicken skin that’s light and super crispy, evenly golden all over, and perfect for soaking up the sweet, sticky glaze.

Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 pounds

    chicken drumsticks, bone-in thighs, or combination

  • 1 tablespoon

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1/2 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

    tamari or soy sauce


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then fit it with a wire rack.

  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, add the baking powder and salt, and toss to evenly coat. Place the chicken skin-side up on the wire rack. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, registers an internal temperature of 145°F, and the skin is browned and crispy, 45 to 50 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze.

  3. Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved. Place the sugar, vinegar, and tamari or soy sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the glaze starts to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and heat the oven to broil. Brush the chicken pieces all over with the glaze, using up all the glaze. Broil until the glaze is bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.