Spicy Gochujang. Easy-to-love chicken drumsticks. Throw Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks in the oven for a simple, crowd-pleasing way to spice up dinnertime.
There’s something about drumsticks. They’re so easy to love. Maybe it’s the built-in handle that begs to be held. Or the petite size (compared to thigh or breast) that makes you want to eat just one more. Either way, it’s easy to fall under the spell of childhood nostalgia when eating drumsticks.
I like to serve chicken drumsticks as a casual, friendly option for dinner. They convince even the pickiest eaters that everything is all right. There’s nothing snooty or high brow about drumsticks. The spicy-sweet Gochujang glaze makes these especially irresistible!
What is Gochujang?
Gochujang is Korean fermented chili paste. It’s got a spicy, sweet flavor and tastes great as a sauce, marinade, or glaze.
Gochujang comes in a plastic tub and needs to be refrigerated after opening. The good thing about Gochujang is that it keeps a really long time, like ketchup or sriracha.
Gochujang also comes in varying degrees of spicyness. Look at the label and choose low, medium, or hot, depending on your personal preference. (I usually choose medium — you can add more spice but it’s hard to take it out.)
Gochujang can be found at most Asian grocers. I’ve even found Gochujang at regular grocery stores in the International/Asian food section but it really depends on individual stores. Even Amazon sells Gochujang now.
Here’s the method:
Whisk marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade and set aside in a separate bowl. This will be used for the glaze later on.
Score chicken drumsticks and add to the large bowl (not the reserved marinade for later glazing). The scoring will ensure maximum Gochujang flavor!
Bake until chicken is halfway cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Using the reserved sauce from before, apply as glaze. Brush on the (halfway cooked) chicken every 5 minutes or so, until fully cooked — about 25-30 minutes in total. Then broil for 5 minutes to get those charred, crispy bits.
This recipe is very easy to double or triple for a larger crowd. And tastes great in lunch boxes the next day! Or better yet, bring these Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks to your next potluck or extended family dinner. Spicy-sweet, sticky bites of chicken — what’s not to love?
Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks
- 8-10 chicken drumsticks about 2 lbs, depending on size
- 1/4 cup Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp mirin (or rice wine)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Whisk Gochujang, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic in large bowl. Using a measuring cup, scoop 1/3 cup of the marinade into a small bowl and reserve for later.
- Score chicken with 2 or 3 cuts to each drumstick. Make sure not to cut down to the bone. Add to the marinade (not the reserved marinade) and mix well until chicken is fully coated. Turn on the oven to 350F/175C and let the drumsticks marinate while the oven preheats, about 10-15 minutes.
- On a parchment lined baking sheet, add chicken drumsticks in an even layer. Make sure not to crowd the pan so the skin gets crispy. Bake until halfway cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Using the reserved sauce from before, apply as glaze. Brush on the (halfway cooked) chicken every 3-5 minutes or so, until fully cooked — about 25-30 minutes in total. This will ensure a deeper-flavored, glazed coating vs. roasting alone. When the chicken is fully cooked, broil for the an additional 3-5 minutes to get those charred, crispy bits. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion (optional). Serve immediately or at room temperature.