Baked Sticky Orange Chicken Drumsticks

Can I tell you something? Lately, I have had to work on meal plans and budgeting for food. I simply have to spend less on what we eat.

For awhile there, my freelance writing business was booming. In fact, it was so big that I ended up letting go of a few lower paying clients. But this summer, one of my clients cut my workload (and my pay) in half. At first, it was kind of an abstract this sucks kind of thing.

But this month is when it really hit me. My income was substantially reduced, and suddenly I need to budget really well again. That means no more trips for after-school lattes for me and cake pops for the kids. That means using coupons again and paying attention to the sales flyers. That means seeking out work and making due in the meantime. (Anyone looking for a recipe developer/journalist/writer/blogger?)

As a result, I’ve been looking to less-expensive meals that are both easy and meet our expectation for really delicious dinners. Chicken drumsticks are a great budget-stretching meat to have in the rotation. Not to be confused with the mini ones that are a popular game day food, chicken drumsticks are larger and meatier. Two pounds of drumsticks with a couple of sides is perfect for my family, though you might want to go to three pounds if you are big eaters. The glaze recipe could be stretched to glaze another pound of drumsticks — or it’s easy to make a little extra.

These Baked Sticky Orange Chicken Drumsticks are delicious. They go perfectly with Kale and Bacon Fried Rice and a salad. And it can all be ready in under 30 minutes — totally easy too.

Also see Crunchy Oven-Fried Chicken Drumsticks.

I came up with this recipe after spying a similar one in an old food magazine. The original recipe from Every Day Food called for basting with marmalade only. However, I find marmalade to be too tart for our tastes. But combining the marmalade with soy sauce and rice vinegar, the sharp tartness is toned down and a richness is added without losing the orange flavor. The reaction was huge — everyone loved the sticky coating.

Do you have to watch your food budget too? How do you do it?

Baked Sticky Orange Chicken Drumsticks
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
adapted heavily from Every Day Food, April 2009
Serves: serves 4
  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks (5-6)
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Then, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper all over. Arrange on the baking sheet (don't let the pieces touch).
  3. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is baking, whisk together the marmalade, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Pull the chicken out and baste with ½ of the marmalade mixture. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Take the chicken out again and baste with the remaining marmalade mixture. Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.



      • De says

        Yummy! It was a big hit with the family and I recently made a batch of Arizona Grapefruit/ginger marmalade and used it the second time with this recipe. It turned out pretty good considering it was an “experiment”. Thanks for the budget conscious recipe – that’s always a big plus.

  1. says

    I’ve been pretty bad about budgeting lately and need to get back on the bandwagon. My CSA cut it drastically but now that it’s over and I’m back to buying veggies at the farmer’s market or grocery store…oy. I love the sound of that sticky delicious glaze! I’m thinking it would be great on tofu also!

  2. leti says

    I made this for dinner tonight and my kids devoured it! mine didn’t look as pretty as yours but it was still tastey and super cheap to make. thank you for sharing this recipe and all the other wonderful recipes you post :)

  3. Laeshon says

    This is a good recipe . What I did was change a few things . I add sugar & ketchup to mine with white wine vinegar & soy sauce . It turned out great , thank you for the idea .

  4. Julie says

    Thank you SO much for this recipe! It was so tasty and easy to do that it’s going straight to my big favorites notebook. =D

  5. JoanneH says

    Thanks for this easy, quick and delicious recipe. The children loved it, so much so the planned lunchbox leftovers were eaten up too! Not good for the budget but good to see two happy children enjoying their food.

  6. Leeda says

    Made this for lunch and my fiancé says it’s one of his favorite chicken recipes I’ve made. That’s really big since I make chicken all the time! Mine was almost burning after putting it back in after 10 min so for the last 5 I turned it down to 425 but I think next time I’ll leave it on 425-450 for the whole duration of cooking. Oh and btw this was so juicy and yummy !

  7. Ron says

    It’s so ironic that I found this. I also work as a freelance writer, and I also have dealt with cutbacks in recent years. I decided to switch to drumsticks this week because chicken breast is so expensive. I’ve long by a bit bizarre about my meat-eating tendencies. I tend to dislike meat served on the bone. But the price was right, and everyone else in the house is fine with bone-on chicken. So I bought some drumsticks. I was sitting at home, and a cooking show was on. They talked about duck l’orange. I realized that I ought to use more oranges since we live in Florida. So I put 2 and 2 together and did a google search and found this recipe. Thanks!

  8. Nicole says

    Sauce was yummy, but I only had regular vinegar instead of the rice vinegar, and it seemed like something was missing…so I added a dash of ginger and cayenne pepper, and it was delicious!

  9. Mel says

    Yum! Instant crowd pleaser. I added ground ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, and sweet paprika for some extra zing.

  10. Emily says

    This recipe looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing! I know this post is several years old, and I was wondering if you still instruct people to rinse their chicken. Rinsing meat actually increases the likelihood of cross contamination and doesn’t result in removing all bacteria from the chicken. Thoroughly cooking chicken is enough.


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