Slow-Cooker Honey-Orange Chicken Drumsticks

Slow-Cooker Honey-Orange Chicken Drumsticks

13 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine May/June 2014

This slow-cooker chicken recipe makes a perfect alternative to standard tomato-based barbecued chicken. Both kids and adults will devour these drumsticks, doused in a honey-sweetened sauce spiked with orange, ginger and garlic.

Ingredients 6 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 12 medium chicken drumsticks (3-3 1/2 pounds), skin removed (see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Combine honey, orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce (or tamari), garlic, ginger, vinegar and crushed red pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Coat a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add drumsticks, pour in the sauce and mix to coat. Cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 °F when inserted into the thickest part of the meat without touching bone, 2 to 3 hours on High or 4 hours on Low.
  3. Transfer the drumsticks to a bowl. Very carefully pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a medium skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced and syrupy, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the sauce over the drumsticks and stir to coat. Serve sprinkled with cilantro and sesame seeds.
  • Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
  • To remove the skin from chicken drumsticks, grip the skin from the meaty end of the drumstick with a paper towel and pull down toward the exposed bone until it comes off completely.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 drumsticks
  • Per serving: 252 calories; 7 g fat(2 g sat); 0 g fiber; 18 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 8 mcg folate; 150 mg cholesterol; 16 g sugars; 15 g added sugars; 91 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 30 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 416 mg sodium; 352 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (33% daily value), Potassium (16% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 6 lean meat

Reviews 13

October 25, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Easy and Decent The picture looks more like roasted or deep-fried Asian chicken drumsticks. That's not what my final result was. Chicken was decent, tender, delicately flavored, but not in the bowl you over kind of way. Wonder if cornstarch in the sauce would have made it thicker without reducing the amount of sauce, which was very tasty. Pros: Easy, quite tasty sauce, tender chicken Cons: Sauce not thick enough, copious enough
September 30, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
This was a tasty recipe but was lacking in seasoning. The soy sauce was not sufficient. I added extra salt so that the flavors would surely shine.
September 26, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Excellent and easy Made this tonight...easy and so tasty. I put 3 drumsticks and 2 breasts in pot because my husband is a little fussy. He loved it! Such great flavor! I definitely will make again. Pros: Easy to make and so flavorful Cons: None
January 13, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Awesome So, So, So, good. My fiance was impressed. VERY hard to believe this is healthy. Absolutely great :) Pros: Comes out fantastic. Restaurant Quality! Cons: Takes awhile to make the sauce and prep
January 08, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
slow coker honey orange chicken drumbsticks Loved the sauce on the drumsticks. Easy to do Pros: easy to do and so good Cons: NULL
January 06, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Great flavor! This was easy to make and tasted great, but I made the sauce as directed with only 5 drumsticks and there was barely enough sauce. I can't imagine that amount of sauce with 12 drumsticks. Pros: Easy to make and tasted very good Cons: Could use more sauce
December 30, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Very good Very good and very easy to make. I did make it in the crock pot but I think it would come out just as we'll if it was baked. It tasted 100% better the next day. I added some corn starch to the sauce at the end while it was reducing so it thickened up a bit more. Next time I'll try it with thighs Pros: Easy to make, kid friendly
December 27, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Orange chicken is one of my husbands favorites so finding a healthier option that he still loved was a challenge. This recipe is a winner. My 9 year old daughter made the sauce and while I got the chicken and slow cooker ready. We will be having this again!
December 03, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
would this work if you don't have a slow-cooker?