4.34 from 9 votes

Sticky Chicken

Dress up your drumsticks with this Sticky Chicken recipe! This one-pan main dish is a family favorite with chicken drumsticks and a sweet and sticky sauce.

Sticky chicken in a cast iron skillet.


I’m all about easy recipes with loads of flavor and one of the best ones I know is this yummy recipe for Sticky Chicken. It makes a great addition to your dinner table and is ready to eat in about 30 minutes. Talk about an easy dinner recipe.

What’s great about Sticky Chicken is that it can be made with any cut of chicken. I wanted a cut with skin on it so I choose chicken drumsticks. They are budget-friendly and always turn out delicious.

You could also make this recipe with chicken wings or chicken thighs. Both would be equally yummy! Trust me, you’ll want to sop up all that sticky chicken sauce.

Why You’ll Love Sticky Chicken

  • A family favorite recipe ready in 30 minutes
  • Pairs with a wide variety of side dishes
  • Easy to find ingredients at the grocery store
  • Sweet and sticky glaze is the BEST
  • Can be used with other cuts of chicken (dark meat or white meat)
  • Can be doubled or tripled if you need to make more
  • Perfect recipe for busy weeknights

Ingredients

  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Soy sauce – Use low sodium soy sauce if you are watching your salt intake.
  • White vinegar
  • Dry mustard powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Paprika
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame seeds
Sticky Chicken ingredients.

How to Make Easy Sticky Chicken

  • Step One: Add soy sauce, vinegar, paprika, dry mustard, sugar and oil to a large skillet and stir to combine. Place chicken drumsticks in pan. Pour water on top. Bring to a boil.
Steps to make sticky chicken.
  • Step Two: Boil until water has reduced by half. Reduce to medium heat. Continue to turn the chicken frequently until cooked through.
  • Step Three: Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.
Steps to make sticky chicken.

Equipment Needed

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    What Side Dishes to Serve with Sticky Chicken

    Sticky chicken in a cast iron skillet.

    Variations and Substitutions

    • Garnish with green onions in addition to sesame seeds for a pop of freshness and color.
    • Use hoisin sauce, tamari sauce or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
    • Add 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger and/or minced garlic to the sauce mixture. You can also add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
    • Add 1 tablespoon of sweet chili sauce or chili garlic sauce to the sauce mixture for an extra kick.
    • Try a different oil like olive oil, sesame oil, or canola oil.
    • Use a different type of chicken. Try boneless skinless chicken thighs, boneless chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can also use chicken breasts that you’ve cut into chicken strips or 1-inch cubes.
    • For extra heat, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
    • Substitute the sugar with honey, maple syrup, agave nectar or light brown sugar.
    • Instead of white vinegar, try rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
    Sticky Chicken drumsticks in a pan.

    Storage Instructions

    Store leftover sticky chicken pieces in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    Can I Freeze?

    Yes! You can freeze leftovers for later or make a bunch of sticky chicken in advance to freeze.

    Let the chicken cool to room temperature first. Place in freezer bags or freezer safe containers. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

    When you are ready to thaw the chicken, place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Heat in the oven, microwave or stovetop.

    Recipe Tips

    • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken. I love chicken drumsticks or chicken thighs. The higher fat content means juicy chicken that is incredibly moist and tender.
    • Don’t overcook the chicken. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. It should have an internal temperature of 165°F. No one likes tough or dry chicken.
    • Reduce the sauce if needed. If you find the sauce not reduced enough to your liking by the time the chicken is done, make a cornstarch slurry! Use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of the sauce liquid (or water). Then add to the pot and stir frequently until the sauce thickens up.
    Sticky Chicken on a white platter.

    FAQ

    Can I Make in a Slow Cooker?

    Yes, you can make Sticky Chicken in a slow cooker! In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, white vinegar, dry mustard, sugar, paprika, vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of water. You don’t need as much water for the slow cooker version.
    Cook on low heat for 4 to 6 hours or high heat for 2 to 3 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.
    Remove the drumsticks and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin gets crispy.
    Add the remaining liquid in the slow cooker to a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Stir in a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water) and cook for 1 to 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Pour sauce over the cooked chicken.

    Can I Make in an Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can air fry your meal instead.
    Preheat the air fryer (if your model calls for preheating) to 375F. Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, dry mustard, paprika, sugar, vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.
    Place the chicken in the air fryer basket. Brush the sauce over the chicken drumstick on all sides.
    Air fry for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken’s internal temperature is 165F. Flip the chicken halfway through cooking.
    Add the remaining sauce to a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Stir in a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water) and cook for 1 to 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Pour sauce over the cooked chicken.

    Can I Use Chicken Thighs or Chicken Breasts?

    Yes, you can use either one! Whatever you have on hand or your personal preference.

    Sticky Chicken on a plate with rice.

    Chicken Recipes

    • No Peek Chicken – An easy to prepare, fuss-free chicken and rice dinner your family will love.
    • Russian Chicken Sweet and tangy! This easy dinner recipe has a flavorful sauce made with Russian dressing, onion soup mix and apricot jam. Serve on a bed of rice for a delicious family meal.
    • Sour Cream Chicken Bake – Creamy, cheesy comfort food. This easy chicken casserole is smothered in a rich sour cream sauce and loads of cheddar cheese.
    • Oven Baked Chicken Wings – The BEST wing recipe ever! Juicy chicken wings are oven baked in a flavorful honey garlic sauce. 
    • Low Carb Chicken Divan – You won’t even miss the carbs! This comforting casserole has a creamy sauce made with chicken, broccoli, cheddar cheese and cauliflower rice.

    You’ll also love Hot Honey Chicken Tenders, Smothered Chicken, Pizza Stuffed Chicken, Copycat Panda Express Mushroom Chicken, Hawaiian Chicken, Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Chicken, Peking Chicken, One-Pan Maple Dijon Chicken, Hurry Chicken or Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    4.34 from 9 votes

    Sticky Chicken

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 5
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes
    Dress up your drumsticks! This one-pan main dish is a family favorite with chicken and a sweet and sticky sauce.

    Ingredients
     
     

    • 10 chicken drumsticks
    • 4 tbsp soy sauce
    • 4 tbsp white vinegar
    • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • Pinch of paprika
    • 2 ½ cups water
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • Sesame seeds for garnish

    Instructions

    • Add soy sauce, vinegar, paprika, dry mustard, sugar and oil to a large pan and stir to combine. Place chicken drumsticks in pan. Pour water on top. Bring to a boil.
    • Boil until water has reduced by half. Reduce heat to medium. Continue to turn the chicken frequently until cooked through.
    • Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 2pieces | Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 231mg | Sodium: 885mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Main Dishes
    Cuisine American
    Keyword chicken, sticky chicken

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    2 Comments

    1. These chicken drumsticks look so good! I am always looking for new ideas to fix for family dinner so I can’t wait to try these!

    2. My friend made some Sticky Chicken when I visited a couple of weeks ago and I have been thinking about it ever since, this was just the recipe I needed thank you 🙂

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