Slow-Cooker Honey-Orange Chicken Drumsticks

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

  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 12 medium chicken drumsticks (3-3½ pounds), skin removed (see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Preparation

  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.
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