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We hope you're not afraid to get your hands sticky because this Asian-inspired glazed hoisin chicken is all about the salty, sweet, robust flavor of hoisin sauce. Chicken drumsticks are smothered in the uniquely flavorful dark brown sauce and baked to a crisp in the oven. The result is savory, tender, juicy chicken that's ready in under an hour.
This recipe was originally published in 2014. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information, but we've left the delicious recipe the same.
This hoisin chicken is a no-brainer weeknight dinner because it's really easy to make and crazy delicious. Most of the preparation time is hands-off which is great news, especially on weeknights when to-do lists are long and the evenings are short.
Simply whisk together the sauce ingredients, smother the chicken drumsticks in the sauce, pop them into the oven, and dinner is ready in under an hour. As a main, it pairs perfectly with simple vegetable and rice dishes.
It's an easy weeknight recipe that will leave everyone licking their fingers and asking for more!
What is hoisin sauce
Hoisin has a unique flavor profile that adds a lot of dimension to Asian recipes. With Cantonese roots, it's made from fermented soybeans, sugar, and various seasonings such as Chinese five spice, garlic, and chiles. The best ones to look for have a thick consistency and rich, dark brown color. It's a robust sauce that manages to be salty, sweet, and slightly spicy all at once.
It makes a delicious cooking sauce or condiment that can be used to marinate chicken or pork, in stir-fry recipes, over sautéed vegetables, to add flavor to noodle soups, or as a dip with spring rolls and egg rolls. Its high sugar content makes it ideal for adding to barbecue marinades and for grilling meats. If hoisin isn't a sauce you typically have on hand, try it out. You'll be surprised at how versatile this savory-sweet sauce is!
Use any extra hoisin sauce in one of these recipes:
How to make glazed hoisin chicken
This delicious dinner couldn't get any easier and it's ready in just 4 steps:
- Preheat the over to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking dish with parchment paper.
- Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Lay the chicken drumsticks in the prepared baking dish and use your hands to smother them in the sauce.
- Bake this tasty hoisin chicken for 30-40 minutes, broiling for the last 5 minutes to brown and crisp the skin. Enjoy!
Ingredients for making hoisin chicken
To make hoisin glazed chicken, you'll need:
- Chicken drumsticks (bone-in, skin-on)
- Hoisin sauce
- Soy sauce
- Garlic chili sauce
- Rice vinegar
Use bone-in, skin-on drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks are dark meat making them naturally juicier. Still, you'll want to select drumsticks that are bone-in and skin-on. During cooking, the skin acts as a barrier to retain moisture and fat which helps keep the meat tender and juicy. Broiling in the last few minutes of cooking gives the skin a delicious crisp!
Can I make this gluten-free?
Both soy sauce and hoisin sauce typically contain wheat. To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce and hoisin sauce, which you can find at most well-stocked grocery stores.
Where can I buy hoisin sauce?
You can find it at the grocery store in the international aisle or any Asian grocer.
Can I use chicken thighs instead?
Yes, bone-in skin-on chicken thighs would work great in place of drumsticks.
What to serve with hoisin glazed chicken
- ½ cup hoisin sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (can sub sriracha)
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (can substitute apple cider vinegar)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely minced )
- 8 chicken drumsticks
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce, water, soy sauce, garlic chili sauce, rice vinegar, and garlic.½ cup hoisin sauce, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons water
- Lay the chicken drumsticks in a single layer in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Pour the sauce over the top and mix so that the chicken is well-coated in the sauce.8 chicken drumsticks
- Bake the chicken, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, or until the thickest part of the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Baste the chicken with some of the sauce in the baking dish then broil it for 5 minutes to lightly crisp and brown the skin.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.