Cooking is about balance, and since heat loves sweet, my recipe for Sticky Honey Sriracha Chicken Drumsticks are perfectly balanced. This easy to prepare dish will quickly become a family favourite!
You gotta hand it over to the Thai and sing their praises for creating such a wonderfully, flavoured condiment from such humble ingredients. I’ve not used sriracha much in my cooking, but let it be known that this recipe is the start of a new cooking ingredient addiction.
I’ve always been somewhat weary of sriracha. I thought it would be way too hot and spicy for my delicate taste buds. But, recently, it hit me – I was looking at the bottle on the shelf at my local grocery store and thought that the bottle looked cute. Now, if you know a food blogger, it’s not an oddity or something to be considered weird or strange when a food blogger examines bottles, bowls, cups, etc., in a way that you might not consider doing. We are always looking for things to use as props in our photos or tools to assemble plates and bowls of food.
This particular bottle of sriracha was quite small and unlike the ones I’m used to seeing. So, I’m standing there in the condiments aisle, holding this bottle in my hand and thinking that I could buy it, poor the sauce down the drain, and wash up the bottle to be used as a tool in food styling. It was less than $3, so the investment was small and insignificant if the bottle failed to do what I thought it might.
So, I purchased it and took it home. My intention was the clean up the bottle as soon as I got home, but life is never as planned, so I placed the bottle of sauce in my pantry where it sat for a few days until I wanted to bake some chicken and wanted to try something new. I love chicken legs and thighs, in fact, I would choose one of those over white meat any day. And, when I prepare chicken, I always want a sauce or a seasoning. And, I love nothing more than an easy, sweet, and sticky sauce on chicken drumsticks. It’s like having over-sized chicken wings!
I had the honey for the sweet, and was looking for something spicy. I had dried red chili flakes, and I had fresh chilies, which would have worked very well. My initial thought was to place the whole chili in a pestle and mortar with some fresh garlic and fresh ginger. I was going to make a paste and combine the paste with honey to create a very thick basting sauce. That was when I remembered the little bottle of sriracha!
I’m sure you’re already familiar with sriracha, so I don’t need to explain this to you, but I had completely overlooked the fact that it comes in a squeeze bottle with a tiny hole. I could totally control the amount I was using to accommodate my limits on hot and spicy food! So, using this logic, you can increase the sriracha if you can handle more heat.
Whenever I find a new ingredient, I like to learn a little more about it and I found the story of sriracha’s beginnings to be quite interesting. The origin and history of sriracha is debated. One report has it that the sauce was first produced by a Thai woman named Thanom Chakkapak in the town of Sri Racha.
According to the Thai people, the sauce was first made in Si Racha by Burmese sawmill workers. In an interview, an 88-year-old Thawat Wiphisamakun, known locally as Ah Pae, reported that her grandmother had a small shop in Si Racha. Burmese workers came to the shop to buy chilies, salt, vinegar, and sugar to pound in a mortar to make their sauce. Eventually she started making the sauce herself, both for family use and for sale to customers.
Soon, another customer began to buy large quantities of chilies, salt, vinegar, and sugar and made a chili sauce for sale, using the brand name, Golden Mountain Brand Si Racha Sauce, with a picture of the Golden Mountain Temple on the label, which might be the most familiar in terms of packaging. There you go, a little sriracha history. If it’s true or not, your guess is as good as mine!
Back to present day… so now, I’m using up all of that sauce before I wash up the bottle to be used as a styling tool. And, the next time I buy sriracha, it most certainly will not be in miniature sized jar! Here’s the recipe:
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Sticky Honey Sriracha Chicken Drumsticks
- 10 whole chicken drumsticks, skin on
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons sriracha
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash chicken in cold water and pat dry. Transfer chicken to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Evenly spread the chicken pieces out, avoiding contact with the edge of the baking sheet.
- Lightly salt and pepper the chicken; bake for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the sauce by whisking together the sriracha, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the drumsticks with the sauce mixture. Use about half of the sauce at this point. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven brush the remaining sauce evenly over the drumsticks. Sprinkle over the black sesame seeds, if using, and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, garnish, and serve.
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