Maple and Cranberry Drumsticks 4.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

One Pan Jan 11, 2018

These represent a step up from wings and chicken tenders, thanks to more meat on the bone and an easy marinade that turns into a glaze.

Why trim the drumstick ends? Because doing so makes them easy and neat to pick up and eat. As the chicken legs roast, the tendons that are no longer attached to the ends will retract. You can cover the exposed bones with aluminum foil, avoiding sticky fingers. (Accompanying photo shows an untrimmed drumstick.)

Make Ahead: The chicken needs to marinate for 1 hour.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 8 chicken drumsticks, ends trimmed, if desired (see headnote)
  • 4 tablespoons cranberry sauce or relish
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage (may substitute 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage)


Use a sharp chef’s knife or cleaver to cut off the end (ankle) of each drumstick. Discard them. (This step is optional; see the headnote.)

Place the drumsticks in a gallon-size zip-top bag, along with the cranberry sauce or relish, maple syrup, oil, a four-fingered pinch each of the salt and pepper and the sage. Seal and massage through the bag to coat evenly. Lay the bag in a glass or ceramic baking dish that’s large enough to hold the drumsticks in a single layer. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature, turning the bag over a few times, or refrigerate up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Open and pour the contents of the bag into the baking dish, arranging the drumsticks in a single layer. Turn to coat with all the sauce you can extract from the bag. Roast (top rack) for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through (165 to 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, inserted away from the bone), using tongs to turn the drumsticks about halfway through the oven time.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Harvest: 180 Recipes Through the Seasons,” curated by Emilie Guelpa (Hardie Grant, 2017).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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