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Just 4 ingredients create this incredible one-pan sheet pan Paleo Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks recipe. Get ready for a new favorite dinner — one for any weeknight or casual dinners with guests. Reliable, quick and easy, enjoy just 15 minutes of prep time!
This recipe is great to serve to everyone, but also works great for wellness diets like Gluten-free, Paleo, AIP, Low FODMAP and VAD.
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Ingredients in Paleo Teriyaki Drumsticks
This recipe makes enough drumsticks for about 7 people. If you cook for a smaller family, I still think this recipe’s size is helpful — as you can freeze any leftovers and have ready flavorful seconds waiting for another evening.
Or, feel free to halve the recipe if you prefer.
To make this recipe you’ll need just 4 ingredients!:
- chicken drumsticks — 5 to 6 pounds for the full recipe (about 3 average size packages at most grocery stores)
- coconut aminos
- pure maple syrup
- sea salt
Needed for some and not for others: water, or broth — This ingredient may or may not be needed, depending on how big your drumsticks are and if they produce pan juices on their own or not. The Instructions give both versions of the recipe.
(Some chicken when baked creates pan juices, and some chicken bakes up dry [no pan juices].)
How to make Paleo Teriyaki Drumsticks
What I love about this recipe is the sauce makes itself!
Drippings from baked chicken are naturally gelatinous — creating a really delicious thick and gooey umami base. These drippings combine with our few ingredients — coconut aminos, real maple syrup and sea salt — to create an incredible teriyaki sauce.
A big thanks to my mom who makes pure maple syrup chicken! Her recipe showed me that maple syrup and chicken drippings alone create a delicious sweet sticky sauce!
Here’s how to make Paleo Teriyaki Drumsticks:
- Place all drumsticks on large sheet pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Pour coconut aminos and maple syrup over all.
- Use two large soup spoons to mix: roll each drumstick over in the sauces until it’s coated. Evenly spread out drumsticks. (At this stage the “sauce” is very liquidy and doesn’t yet look thick.)
- Bake about 45 minutes.
- Depending on your chicken, you will either need to add the optional water/broth or not: Some chicken will produce a lot of gelatin-rich broth that’s liquidy while being baked; other drumsticks will come out at this stage more baked on to the pan. If the latter, then use the optional broth to deglaze pan (more on this in the actual recipe).
- Set oven broiler on Low. Broil under Low heat 5 to 10 minutes until top sides are bubbly, sizzling and darkened nicely in spots.
Remove and serve! The longer the pan sits at room temp, the thicker the pan juices will get. After 10 to 15 minutes, they’ll be completely sticky and thick, so be sure to pour them over any side veggies, rice or carbs you have at serving time.
Paleo Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks (AIP, Low FODMAP)
- sheet pan
- 4-½ to 6 pounds chicken drumsticks usually this is 3 packages*, depending on package size (If this is more than you need, you can either halve the recipe, or freeze all leftovers for a great dinner another night.)
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons sea salt plus more to taste, optionally
- ¼ cup water or broth -- This ingredient may or may not be needed, depending on how big your drumsticks are and if they produce pan juices. See Instructions below for both versions. (You won't know until they bake if they produce a lot of pan juices or none at all; both versions work great; just have water or broth on hand for if it's needed.)
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Place drumsticks (*See Notes below) on large baking sheet (in a kind of pile), or if you prefer into a very large mixing bowl. Pour coconut aminos and maple syrup over the top. Sprinkle with sea salt. Stir all the ingredients together, or roll and mix each drumstick until it's coated. Place drumsticks in single layer. (At this stage the "sauce" is very liquidy and doesn't yet look thick.)
- Bake about 45 minutes (for large drumsticks), depending on how big your drumsticks are (check smaller drumsticks at 40 minutes). To test, poke one to the bone with a sharp knife. It should release clear juices, not pink, or none at all. Don't overcook, or the meat will dry out.
- Now, depending on your chicken, you will either need to add the optional water/broth or not: Some chicken will produce a lot of gelatin-rich broth that's liquidy while being baked; other drumsticks will come out at this stage more baked on to the pan (and dry). If the latter, then use the optional broth (otherwise omit the broth/water step):
- Only if your pan is dry after baking: Add water/broth to pan, and use spoon or small spatula to de-glaze the pan: mixing the broth into the sticky spots and stirring the bits in, so you end up with a sweet-umami sticky slightly thicker sauce.
- Roll each drumstick in sauce, especially making sure top sides are coated. If you'd like, use a spoon to spoon extra sauce (tilt the pan if you need to, to get more sauce in the spoon) over each drumstick. The sauce will not yet be super thick. It doesn't matter if the drumsticks are skin side up or down; both ways turn out great, just as long as they're basted in the saucy pan juices.
- Set oven broiler on Low. Depending on how many drumsticks you bake and how big they are: optionally, move all drumsticks to one end of the pan, so they're sitting in the bulk of the sauce. Place pan in oven under broiler, so the side of the pan with less sauce and no drumsticks isn't under the broiler (if you've moved them over to one side. Leave the oven door ajar with this end of the pan hanging out, if applicable.) Broil under Low heat 5 to 10 minutes until top sides are bubbly, sizzling and darkened nicely in spots.
- Remove and serve! If your pan juices don't look thickened, use the spatula to mix the drippings into the broth, and they'll homogenize forming the sauce. The longer the pan sits at room temp, the thicker the pan juices will get. After 10 to 15 minutes, they'll be completely sticky and thick, so be sure to pour them over any rice or other carbs you have at serving time, so they stay sticky and warm instead of more solidified. (For non-AIP if you like, garnish with a bit of sesame seeds.) Serve with cauli rice or Herb Roasted Cauliflower, for Paleo. For GF, VAD etc, serve with white rice or rice noodles. If you wish, garnish with very thinly sliced greens of green onions.