Buttermilk Roast Chicken Drumsticks


Adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe, these savory buttermilk roast chicken drumsticks with a touch of sticky sweet will have you begging for more.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 40 mins
6 drumsticks


  • 6 chicken drumsticks

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (such as Maldon®)

  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning

  • 3 cloves garlic, bruised and skins removed

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3 drops liquid smoke, or to taste (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Place chicken drumsticks in a large resealable freezer bag. Add buttermilk, 1/4 cup oil, maple syrup, peppercorns, salt, taco seasoning, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and liquid smoke. Seal the freezer bag and squish everything in the bag until the drumsticks are coated. Marinate the drumsticks in the refrigerator, 8 hours to overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.

  3. Remove drumsticks from the marinade and shake off excess. Place drumsticks in the prepared pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Discard the remaining marinade.

  4. Roast in the preheated oven until the drumsticks are well browned, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

To speed things up, you can marinate the chicken at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Please do not leave out longer than 2 hours as bacteria will begin to form.

You may use 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt in place of the 1 tablespoon sea salt, if you prefer. Substitute cumin for the taco seasoning, if you'd like.
* 1 tablespoon taco seasoning or cumin

To ensure optimum juiciness, you can pan-sear each drumstick immediately before roasting. Roast for longer than 30 minutes if you like your drumsticks almost scorched.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

312 Calories
22g Fat
6g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 312
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 1097mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 65mg 5%
Iron 12mg 66%
Potassium 259mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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