Sweet Chili Chicken Drummettes

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This is one of my favorite things to serve at a cocktail party. These Sweet Chili Chicken Drummettes are easier to eat than chicken wings, and are sweet and spicy with just a little bit of crunch.

It doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to create a heavy dose of flavor. These drummettes get a load of spicy flavor from chili garlic paste�a heat that’s balanced out nicely by the mellow sweetness of a little honey.

Add in a little earthiness from a drizzle of mushroom soy and the crunch and pop of sesame seeds and fresh chives, and you’ve got a practically perfect party food. Oh, and because chicken drummettes are relatively fatty, they tend to stay moist and juicy in the oven.

The best part? They cook in the oven in 30 minutes�just the perfect amount of time to greet your guests and shake up their first cocktail.

Sweet Chili Chicken Drummettes: A note on ingredients

Chili garlic paste is a staple sauce you can find in some grocery stores and almost all Asian markets. It’s loaded with mashed chilis and little chunks of garlic. It’s potent stuff and is a great way to add a lot of flavor to a dish quickly.

I like Lee Kum Kee brand a lot, but by all means use your favorite sauce.

For sesame oil, I like Kadoya brand. We use a lot of it at The Mouse House, so we usually pick up a vat of it at our Asian market. It does come in smaller bottles. If you can get your paws on it, I highly recommend giving it a try. It has a wonderful, toasty sesame flavor.

OK! On to the chicken!

Sweet Chili Chicken Drummettes

2.5 lbs. chicken drummettes
2 Tbls. honey
1 Tbls. mushroom soy sauce
1 Tbls. light soy sauce
2 Tbls. chili garlic paste
1 Tbls. sesame oil
sesame seeds
chives, minced, for garnish

Serves about 4-6 as an appetizer

Sweet Chili Chicken Drummettes: Marinate your chicken

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and parchment paper and set aside.

Grab your chicken. Give it a quick rinse under cold water. Pat it dry.

Put your drummettes in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Set them aside on the counter to knock the chill off them. In the meantime, make the marinade.

Grab a medium-sized bowl. Add the honey.

Add the mushroom soy and the light soy.

Toss in the chili garlic paste.

Add the sesame oil. With a fork or whisk, mix the marinade well to combine all ingredients.

Pour the marinade into the zip-top bag and over your chicken.

Seal the bag well. Smoosh it around between your hands to coat the chicken.

Sweet Chili Chicken Drummettes: Roast the chicken

When the chicken is well coated, transfer it to your prepared sheet pan.

Line them up so there’s a little space between each.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

You want to get a good coating on each drummette, like this:

When each drummette is coated with seeds, they’re ready to cook.

Pop them into your preheated oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Your final cooking time will depend on how big your drummettes are. When they’re done, they should have a nice brown crust.

The best way to test one? Cut into one to be sure they’re cooked in the middle. Because they’re little things, they’ll cook fast.

Sweet Chili Chicken Drummettes: Serve & enjoy!

Transfer the drummettes to a serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped chives and a little kosher salt, if you like.

Serve hot!

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. These look so good. A little spicy, a little sweet- I bet they'd be great weeknight TV food. A tray of drummettes, a bottle of beer, and some mindless prime time TV. Sorted!
    • Hehe, yeah one of my favorite things about them is that you can stick 'em in the oven and basically forget about 'em for a half an hour. :D +Jessie
  2. Love the chicken recipe! And I love the Asian flair. BTW, are you in Davis Sq? Just noticed your McKinnon's chicken... I'm near Alewife! In fact, I just recently reviewed KickAss Cupcakes! Nice to have a food blogger in the neighborhood.
  3. Oooo..Lee Kum Kee sauces are practically a household name in Asia and one of the top brands.It is especially known for its oyster sauce here. (or any Asian sauce for that matter...) And it is like the Ferrari of sauces. I had always wondered how the Americans ever survived without chili sauce especially when eating out because I remember spending a month in LA and was frantically searching for any decent chili sauce but failed to find any. (well, I was on holiday so I can't be expected to cook, right?) So, I am glad that you do have supplies of Lee Kum Kee there. Darn good stuff. Coincidentally, I just made spicy chili sauce pork ribs using chili sauce (sadly, not Lee Kum Kee chili sauce though). ~Foong~
    • I lined my pan with foil, then parchment paper. You could probably get away with just foil, but I find that stuff sticks to it sometimes, which is why I include another layer. Cheers! +Jessie