Last spring, we were navigating some food issues and intolerances and in need of simple family meals free of gluten, dairy, soy and a whole host of other ingredients. It was a challenge to say the least, but there were a few good new recipes that came out of it. Tamari-honey chicken drumsticks were one of happiest outcomes, and they are a new family favorite.
A super simple recipe to put together, the outcome is best when prepped the night before. Mix together the marinade, throw in your drumsticks and let them soak up the sweet, salty and tangy marinade. Even if you marinate the chicken in the morning before school or work, the final outcome will be a winner.
We serve our honey-tamari drumsticks with steamed sushi rice and broccoli, but the drumsticks can pair with almost any veggie side. They’re a hit with adults, teens and toddlers and are even more delicious as leftovers the next day. I made these recently in a private cooking class for my sister and a group of her friends. The photos are courtesy of Kim Pawell from Something New for Dinner — an old friend of my sister’s and mine, and my food photography tutor!
While these tamari-honey drumsticks have a hint of Asian flavor, the final outcome isn’t overtly “tamari” flavored. With back to school around the corner, these drumsticks are sure to be on our meal plan once again. They are fast, kid-approved, mom-approved and just all-around delicious.
Tamari-Honey Chicken Drumsticks
You can substitute chicken breasts or thighs for the drumsticks; if you do, buy bone-in, skin-on chicken for the best flavor.
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup tamari, coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime, plus additional for serving
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 drumsticks
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- In a medium bowl, combine the honey, tamari, rice vinegar, lime juice and bay leaves.
- Pat the drumsticks dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add the drumsticks to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to overnight.
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat and barbecue the drum sticks for 8-10 minutes per side. Discard any leftover marinade.
- Chicken should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If the drum sticks are getting charred or too dark, but aren’t cooked to 165 degrees, put them on a sheet pan or roasting pan (in a single layer) in a 350 degree oven until they reach an internal temperature of 165.
- Serve sprinkled with chopped green onions or chopped chives and lime wedges.
If you forget to marinate the drumsticks ahead of time, heat the marinade on the stove to a simmer. Place the drumsticks in a baking pan and pour in the heated marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, rotating every few minutes, before grilling.