Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks (Asian)
Easy slow cooker chicken drumsticks recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Super tender chicken is coated in sweet and spicy Asian sauce and can be broiled at the end for crispy tops.
Who doesn’t love a good chicken wing? I’m looking forward to summer so much and this kind of recipe brings back memories of family and fun. In general, chicken is so versatile it’s like the potato of the meat world-so many ways to prepare it. I like the Asian style of this particular recipe along with Slow Cooker Asian Chicken (Shredded)and Slow Cooker Orange Chicken, since I’m such a sucker for Asian food!
How to make slow cooker chicken drumsticks recipe from scratch?
- Combine- Soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, broth, Sriracha sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a crockpot.
- Add- Drumsticks and toss until combined.
- Cover and cook– On Low heat for about 4-5 hours.
- Serve– With steamed rice. Drizzle the sauce from the crockpot over the rice and enjoy with the tender drumsticks.
How long does it take for drumsticks to cook in the crockpot? How do you know it’s ready?
I recommend cooking the chicken on low heat for about 4-5 hours. You know it is ready when the chicken is no longer pink inside and the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
Can you put raw chicken in slow cooker? Can you put frozen chicken in crockpot?
Yes, you can! In fact, you want to put the chicken in raw, because it will soak in with all the other flavors and slow cooking it makes it extra moist and soft. You can put frozen chicken in, but it will dramatically increase the cook time and will likely add more water so that the sauce is more runny. You also risk burning or overcooking other ingredients.
Do you need to add liquid to chicken in slow cooker?
Not necessarily because the chicken already has internal juices. Just be sure to watch that the other ingredients aren’t sticking to the bottom and making a tough mess to clean up. In this recipe, we want the extra juices to pour over rice, so additional water, in this case broth, is added.
What to serve with slow cooker chicken legs?
There are a variety of options to serve alongside this dish, including salads, vegetables, soups, or potatoes. Here are some ideas:
- Slow Cooker Creamy Brussels Sprouts
- Slow Cooker Yellow Squash Casserole
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Slow Cooker Cauliflower Casserole
Variations for crockpot drumsticks
Bbq chicken drumsticks– Don’t want the Asian flavor or want to switch things up? Use the sauce recipe for my Slow Cooker Honey Bbq Wings.
Make it spicy- Add in some red pepper flakes, increase the pepper, add jalapeños, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it more spice to your liking.
Use Orange Juice- Instead of Chicken broth to add a nice citrus flavor to the chicken.
Broil at the end- To add a lovely color on top and make tops slightly crispy. Simply transfer cooked drumsticks to a baking tray, lined with foil paper and broil for about 5 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Garnish options– You can garnish these drumsticks with cilantro, parsley, green onions, lemon or orange zest, or even some sesame seeds.
Tips and techniques for honey garlic chicken drumsticks
Skinless chicken drumsticks vs. drumsticks with skin– I used skinless, but you can use either for this recipe. With the skin on, you may get a juicier piece chicken that holds in the moisture and adds some flavor, but it will also be more fattening. Skinless is more likely to dry out, though it is less likely in a slow cooker, but it will be less fattening.
Adjust spices to your preference- All of the spices on the recipe card can be adjusted to your personal preference.
Thicken sauce- There will be a decent amount of sauce leftover in crockpot, which is great for serving alongside rice. This sauce sauce can be thickened for drizzling on top of chicken for an appetizer, too. You can do this one of two ways: Transfer remaining sauce in the crockpot to a nonstick saucepan and reduce it on stovetop over medium heat until it’s thickened or mix up a cornstarch slurry (2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in with 2 tbsp liquid from the slow cooker) in the crockpot in the final 20-30 minutes of cooking.
Use low sodium ingredients- The soy sauce and chicken broth should be low sodium so that your dish doesn’t become overpowered by a salty taste.
Use tinfoil or a liner- In your slow cooker to make the mess easier and faster to clean up when the meal is done.
Storage for Asian chicken
Fridge- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container for up to 2 days and can be reheated in the microwave.
Freezer- Leftovers can also be stored in a sealed container for up to 1 month, then unthaw in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.
More slow cooker chicken recipes
- Slow Cooker Thai Green Chicken Curry
- Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Wings
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken
- Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken
- Slow Cooker Tandoori Chicken
Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce, Low sodium
- 1/4 cup Sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup Chicken broth, Low sodium, Can be replaced with orange juice if you prefer a citrus flavor
- 1-2 tbsp Sriracha sauce, Adjust according to your preference
- 1 tbsp Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Tomato paste, Or ketchup
- 1-2 tsp Sesame oil, Adjust according to your preference as it has a strong flavor and aroma
- 1 tbsp Ginger, Freshly grated
- 3 cloves Garlic, Finely minced
- 1-2 tbsp Brown sugar, Or honey, Adjust according to your preference
- Salt , To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 3-3.5 pounds Chicken drumsticks, I used skinless
- In a large crockpot (6 quart or larger), add soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, broth, Sriracha sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper and mix until combined.
- Add drumsticks and toss until combined.
- Cover and cook on Low heat for about 4-5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
- Serve with steamed rice. Drizzle the sauce from the crockpot over the rice and enjoy with the tender drumsticks.
- Optional step 1: I didn't do this as I was short on time but this step will add a lovely color on top and make tops slightly crispy. Transfer cooked drumsticks to a baking tray, lined with foil paper and broil for about 5 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
- Optional step 2: You can also transfer remaining sauce in the crockpot to a nonstick saucepan and reduce it on stovetop over medium heat until it's thickened and drizzle it on top of the chicken. My mom does something different. She mixes in a cornstarch slurry (2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in with 2 tbsp liquid from the slow cooker) in the crockpot in the final 20-30 minutes of cooking to thicken sauce. It's up to your personal preference. Enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days and can be reheated in the microwave.