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Sep 3, 2023

Apple Soy Glazed Chicken Legs

These apple soy glazed chicken legs are deliciously crispy, juicy, and sticky. You'll be licking the sauce off of your fingers. 

Apple Soy Glazed Chicken Legs on small white plates.

When you want an easy but succulent chicken dish, make this apple soy chicken. It's both sweet and savory, and tastes wonderful. 

I've been making and serving (and enjoying) a lot of chicken lately, especially thighs and wings. I'm a huge fan of both cuts. The darker meat pieces seem to be juicier and more flavorful than chicken breasts. 

When I want to try a recipe that calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I'll often substitute chicken thighs with great results. 

Apple Soy Glazed Chicken Legs on small white plates.

For recipes calling for "bone-in/skin-on" chicken breasts, you can easily substitute thighs or drumsticks, which are also dark meat, and super convenient to eat. 

With drumsticks, it's like they have their own little handles, making them easy to eat with one hand. 

That's super convenient when you're at a party or potluck and need to hang onto your cocktail with your other hand!

These apple soy glazed drumsticks take the sweet and savory flavors of apple cider and soy sauce, along with a slight acidity from apple cider vinegar, and turn them into an amazing dinnertime treat. 


Chicken Legs: You can usually buy them in packages at the grocery store. This recipe calls for a dozen drumsticks, which is typically two packages. If you'd like, you can simply cut up a whole chicken and make this recipe with all of the different parts. This is especially helpful if you have eaters who prefer white meat. 

Apple Juice or Apple Cider: You can use filtered or unfilterd. 

Apple Cider Vinegar: This ingredient adds a little bit of acidity to the sauce, but not too much. 

Boiled Apple Cider: Boiled cider is the result of reducing apple cider down to 1/8th its original volume. You can make your own by boiling fresh cider for several hours, or you can buy it ready made. It's a great substitute for maple syrup for pancakes, or as an ice cream topping. 

If you really don't want to buy it or make your own, you can substitute apple juice concentrate or maple syrup. Your drumsticks will still be delicious. 

Soy Sauce: I like to use reduced sodium Japanese soy sauce by Kikkoman. You can substitute your favorite brand. If you want a sweeter and slightly darker soy sauce, Pearl River Bridge dark soy sauce is a great addition. 

Honey: For a little additional sweetness. 

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: You can vary the amount to add more or less heat. 

Sesame Seeds: I like using unroasted white sesame seeds in this recipe, although roasted sesame seeds would work too. 

 Butter: I used unsalted butter, but you can use either salted or unsalted. After removing the thickened sauce from the heat, toss in a tablespoon of butter right before tossing the drumsticks in the sauce. 

Apple Soy Glazed Chicken Legs on small plates.

Process for Making These Drumsticks:

First, you bake the chicken legs at 400 degrees F on a wire rack in a baking sheet, flipping them over halfway through baking. This will help the skin get extra crispy. 

While the drumsticks are baking, cook the sauce in a two to three quart saucepan. You will need to cook it for quite a while, until the sauce thickens, at least thirty minutes. 

Once you've cooked it for thirty minutes, bring the sauce to a boil, and cook it, stirring constantly, until it is syrupy. Remove it from the heat, toss in the sesame seeds and butter, and then toss the cooked drumsticks in the sauce. 

Finally, if you like, garnish with some chopped scallions. 


You can add some garlic powder, onion powder, or even minced ginger to the sauce. 

For a charred flavor, after tossing the chicken legs in the sauce, you can place it under the broiler for a minute or two to deepen the color and crisp up the skin even more. 

If you have trouble with your sauce getting thicker, you can dissolve a small amount of cornstarch in a bit of water, and then add it to the sauce for the last 2 to 5 minutes of cooking before adding the butter and sesame seeds. 

Adding a tablespoon of brown sugar helps neutralized the apple cider vinegar if the flavor is too acidic for your taste, and substitute toasted sesame oil for the butter for a stronger sesame flavor. 

Apple Soy Glazed Chicken Legs on small plates.

These drumsticks are best served immediately. However, leftovers can easily be reheated in the toaster oven or microwave. They just won't have the same crispiness. 

These drumsticks are delicious with sticky rice, roasted broccoli, and/or steamed sugar snap peas. If you have extra sauce, drizzle a little over the side dishes for extra flavor... or just make more sauce... it's totally worth it. 

This week, I'm sharing chicken recipes from Our Dinner Table group. If you love chicken, be sure to check them all out. 

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Delicious Chicken Recipes 

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes! While you're at it, follow our Pinterest board, too!

Apple Soy Glazed Chicken Legs in a bowl.

Apple Soy Glazed Chicken Legs

Apple Soy Glazed Chicken Legs
Yield: 12 drumsticks
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 15 M
These apple soy glazed chicken legs are deliciously crispy, juicy, and sticky. You'll be licking the sauce off of your fingers.


  • 12 chicken legs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups apple juice or apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons boiled apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional) for garnish


  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack. Spray the rack with spray oil.
  2. Bake the chicken legs for 1 hour, flipping them with tongs at 30 minutes.
  3. While the legs are roasting, combine all of the sauce ingredients, except the sesame seeds and butter, in a 2 to 3 quart sauce pan.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring regularly, for about 30 minutes.
  5. Change the heat level to high and boil, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. The sauce should reduce by half, total.
  6. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the sesame seeds and the butter.
  7. Pour the sauce over the wings in a bowl and gently stir to coat.
  8. Sprinkle with the optional scallions and serve.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

21.91 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

6.28 g

Carbs (grams)

6.66 g

Fiber (grams)

0.29 g

Net carbs

6.36 g

Sugar (grams)

5.11 g

Protein (grams)

21.79 g

Cholesterol (grams)

122.31 mg
chicken, soy sauce, apple cider
Main dish
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Recipe inspired by The Food Network

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Would you like to comment?

  1. That sauce sounds amazing! And drumsticks are by far Little Dude's favorite piece of chicken. These look like a must try.

  2. I can't wait to put this on my menu next week, these look amazing! I love the sweet, savory combo, and I really love vinegar.

  3. Your Sweet and savory combination is the perfect sauce for these chicken legs. I

  4. That sauce just shines! And who doesn't need another chicken leg recipe!

  5. Those legs look so yummy! I'd definitely try that on some thighs or even wings. I'm not a leg person but that's not going to stop me from making this!


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