Tangy Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

This is hands down one of the best chicken dishes I have ever made. Pretty much immediately after trying my husband requested that I make it again. As it is partially fried (and then cooking is finished in the oven), it will be a once in a while treat only.

I make fried chicken once or twice a year, we eat some warm, but I make it for the leftovers. No picnic is complete without cold chicken pieces. I prefer using drumsticks (they are easy to hold and economical) but use what you like – adjusting your cooking time. I made this batch for our drive out to Vancouver island, it was a delicious lunch on a hiking trail with our dog somewhere in Salmon Arm… (just pack LOTS of napkins, or baby wipes like I do…)


  • chicken drumsticks – made about 12 (some were quite large)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

For the glaze – stir together in a bowl:
1 cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (for the tang)

The chicken tastes best if you can marinate it for a day or so in buttermilk. When you bring the chicken home from the store, transfer to a bowl or large plastic bag. Pour in the buttermilk. Make sure it is all covered, swish it around, and refrigerate. Then when you are ready to cook, take the chicken out, and reuse the buttermilk for the coating.
Bring the vegetable oil to 350F – 360F in your cast iron skillet, about 1 inch deep.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Put on an apron.

Combine flour, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of pepper, garlic powder and paprika in a shallow bowl and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine your leftover, drained buttermilk and hot sauce, set aside.

Dip the drumsticks in the flour mixture, then in the buttermilk and hot sauce mixture, and then back in the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour.


Gently place in the hot oil and fry, turning over when golden brown. Drain the chicken on a rack. Don’t crowd your pan or the oil’s temperature will drop too much.

(Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil/parchment paper, place rack over top. You can use this for putting them in the oven.

Repeat until all the chicken pieces has been fried. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked through because it will finish cooking in the oven.

Use a brush (I used a silicone one) to brush the glaze on to the chicken. Or dip the chicken, coating well.

Place the drumsticks back on the rack (that’s over the cookie sheet) & bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Baking it on the rack let’s the air circulate and keeps the crispiness.

Baking time will depend on the size of your drumsticks. Use a thermometer or cut into one to double check that they are done.

Serve immediately. With lots of napkins. It’s delicious all warm and crispy, but also great cold the next day. Enjoy! And be safe using the hot oil…


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