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a white enamel plate with three Sweet & Spicy Chicken Drumsticks with Sour Cream Potato Salad

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Drumsticks

Course: Barbeque, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Compliments many cuisines
Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 10 drumsticks
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Ten Pound Cake Company
Grilled chicken drumsticks are slathered with a sweet and spicy glaze made with soy, orange juice, and honey. Cool your palate with sour cream potato salad on the side.
Print Recipe


  • 1 grill charcoal or gas
  • 1 Medium-sized saucepan
  • 1 medium-sized bowl
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 small saucepan
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 baking dish or large ziplock bag for marinating
  • tongs
  • 1 heatproof brush for applying glaze
  • 1 rubber spatula
  • 1 instant-read thermometer



  • ¾ cup low sodium soy (6 ounces/144 grams/177 ml)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon/10 grams/.3 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 large orange, 9grams/.3 ounce))
  • ¾ cup orange juice (6 ounces/179 grams/177 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10 chicken legs

Sweet and Spicy Glaze

  • ½ cup soy (4 ounces/118 ml)
  • ½ cup orange juice (4 ounces/118 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ cup sambal oelek chili paste 4 ounces/118 ml)
  • ½ cup honey (4 ounces/118 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (juice of ½ lime)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Sour Cream Potato Salad

  • pounds yellow baby potatoes (24 ounces/680 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine
  • ½ cup sour cream (4 ounces/99 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


Marinate Chicken Legs

  • Mince 4 cloves of garlic.
  • Zest 1 orange with either a Microplane or with the smallest holes on a box grater.
  • Combine soy sauce, orange juice, garlic, orange zest, and ground black pepper. Add the juice of 1 lime, approximately 2 tablespoons. Makes 1 ½ cups( 375 ml) of marinade.
  • Arrange the chicken legs in a large baking dish. If you do not have a baking dish, you can use a large ziplock bag.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken legs.
  • Marinate for 2 hours. Every 30 minutes rotate the chicken legs so that every side marinates.

Sour Cream Potato Salad

  • While the chicken legs are marinating, put the baby potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  • Bring the water to a boil and cook potatoes until they are tender - about 20 minutes. A paring knife will glide into the potato very easily.
  • Drain the potatoes and set them aside to cool.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, roast the cumin seeds. Add the spice to a dry saute pan over medium heat and occasionally shake the pan so that the cumin seeds move. Roast for approximately 3 minutes until the spice is fragrant. Give the seeds a rough chop.
  • Combine the sour cream, cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper, and chopped chives.
  • Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each one in half. The interior of the potatoes may still be very warm.
  • Add the warm potatoes to the sour cream mixture and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Check the seasoning and adjust to your liking.

Sweet and Spicy Glaze

  • Combine ½ cup of orange juice, ½ cup of soy sauce, ½ cup of sambal oelek chili paste, and ½ cup of honey in a small saucepan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice (juice of ½ lime), ½teaspoon of orange zest, 1 finely minced clove of garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper. You will have 2 cups of sauce.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring the glaze to a boil while continually stirring. Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Simmer for 8 minutes until the sauce has thickened. You should now have 1½ cups of glaze. This is more than enough to glaze the drumsticks. You will have some to dip the chicken in as you eat.

Grilling the chicken legs

  • After the chicken legs have been marinating for 1½ hours, prepare the grill. The chicken legs are grilled using two temperature zones. Have one side of the grill hot and one side warm. If using charcoal, all the hot briquets should be on one side of the grill. The other side will not have any charcoal.
  • If using a gas grill, heat the grill for about 15 minutes. When the grill is hot, turn off one burner so that you have indirect heat to cook the chicken legs.
  • Once the grill is ready, make sure to oil the grate so the food doesn't stick. If you are using non-stick spray, coat the grate away from the flame. An easy way to coat the grate is with a set of tongs and some paper towels coated in vegetable oil. Use the tongs to hold the paper towels, moving across the grate to coat it with oil.
  • Remove the chicken legs from the marinade after 2 hours. Make sure to place the legs on a paper towel to absorb any dripping marinade. Place the chicken on the warm side of the grill away from the burner or charcoal. Cover the grill and cook the chicken for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn the chicken legs over and reverse what side is closest to the heat. Again cover the grill. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, start checking the internal temperature of the chicken legs. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the drumstick. You are looking for a temperature between 160° - 165°.
  • Brush the drumsticks with the sweet and spicy glaze and place them over the hot side of the grill. You will need to stay with the chicken at this point since it is very easy to burn the glaze.
  • Rotate the drumsticks every 1-2 minutes, brushing with more glaze as needed. Check the temperature of the chicken. Chicken legs are done when the temperature of the meat is between 175° - 180°.
  • If the drumsticks have enough glaze on them but the internal temperature is not above 170°, move them to the cooler side of the grill to continue cooking away from the flame.
  • Once the drumsticks are fully cooked, remove them from the grill onto a platter and serve with the sour cream potato salad.


The marinade and the sweet and spicy glaze use some of the same ingredients.  Here are the totals for the whole recipe.
low sodium soy sauce -  1 ¼ cups
orange juice - 1 ¼ cups
orange zest - 1 tablespoon and ½ teaspoon
garlic - 5 cloves
lime juice - 3 tablespoons 
If you can't find sambal oelek chili paste, use your favorite hot sauce.  The amount given in the recipe is a guide.  Adjust to your liking.  If you do not like overly spicy foods, use small amounts of hot sauce before adding more.  


Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 816mg | Potassium: 735mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg