Asian-spiced sticky chicken drumettes

Gloriously glossy, sweet and spicy cutlery-free goodness.


I have to start with a confession: I don't make popcorn for movie nights, I make a bowl of these sticky, spicy little winglets. There's something about being slumped on the couch, nibbling away on these, a stack of paper towels so I can wipe my fingers to fast-forward through all car chases (very few good movies hinge on the outcome of a car chase), a couple of cold beers – I am filled with domestic bliss. Odd, maybe, but true.

Drumettes – the upper third of the wing joint – also make great party food because they're a bit easier to eat with one hand (the other holding a drink, of course) than a whole wing, and your guests can neatly wrap the single bone in a napkin and be done with it. It's easy on the cook, too, as they can be roasted a couple of dozen at a time. Use the whole wing if you like, and this recipe will happily work for 12 wings instead.

It's a quick job to mix up the marinade and toss them in the fridge. You need to give them a full day's marinating to fully infuse all the flavours, but that's no work other than patience. Then 30 minutes in the oven and you're done. Domestic bliss, indeed.

Asian-spiced sticky chicken drumettes


Makes 12.

12 chicken drumettes
2 tablespoon sambal oelek
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice wine or mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Whisk all the marinade ingredients (that's everything except the sesame seeds and the drumettes themselves) together in a small bowl.

Place the drumettes in a resealable plastic bag and pour over the marinade. Close the bag and give everything a gentle massage to get all the chicken pieces covered.

Put the bag in a bowl, in case of leakage, and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, set your oven to 200°C (425°F).

Using tongs, remove the drumettes from the marinade and arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet. (If you have a rack to lift them up a little, use that, but it's not absolutely essential.) Reserve the remaining marinade.

Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through and basting occasionally with some of the reserved marinade, which will become sticky, dark glossy towards the end of the cooking time.

Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.