Easy & Tender Drumstick Recipe

My friend Carolee hosts a great potluck. Her signature dish is the tenderest, fall-off-the-bone chicken drumstick I've ever sunk my teeth into. We both laugh when she catches me heading back for seconds. 

Carolee eats gluten-free and as most gluten-free folks are, she's sensitive and accommodating to others' dietary needs. With these drumsticks she keeps it simple—no corn-syrup barbeque sauces, no mystery marinades. Just salt and pepper, and that's it. What sends these drumsticks over the top is the way she cooks them. I called her today to get the scoop and here's what she said:

"Salt and pepper the drumsticks and then grill them until you have some nice color on the outside—do not cook all the way through. Throw them in your slow cooker, without any liquid, and cook on low for 3-4 hours."

Now, that's my kind of recipe. Short, sweet and easy. Uh oh ...

The thing was, before she had returned my call I had jumped ahead and put the drumsticks in the slow cooker thinking I would finish them off on the grill.


Fingers crossed I was surprised to find that they turned out just as good as Carolee's!

So here's the deal; if you are wanting to have these drumstick ready to serve when you return home from Sunday church—do it Carolee's way. If you want to have the chicken cooked and ready to throw on the grill for an afternoon barbeque—do it my way.

Next go-round I'll slather some barbeque sauce on these bad boys when finishing them off on the grill. Mmm mmmm mmmmmmm. Or maybe some 4-Ingredient Italian Sausage Seasoning? Or maybe a lemon and rosemary marinade before they head to the slow cooker. Yep, now we're talking! 

What's your favorite chicken seasoning? Do tell!

Carolee's Easy and Tender Drumstick Recipe

Makes: 8-10 drumsticks

*** I've had some ask if I remove the skin before cooking. The answer is yes. Steps 1 and 2 take you through this process. Here's a how-to video, too. ***




  1. Using a sharp knife, make a cut around and through the skin at the base of the chicken leg.
  2. Grab the skin at the top of the drumstick and pull it toward the bottom and remove (a paper towel helps provide a good grip for this task).
  3. Generously salt and pepper the drumsticks
  4. Place in a slow cooker (do not add any liquid). 
  5. Cover and cook 3-4 hours on low.
  6. Finish in a 450˚F grill, about 10 minutes, until meat begins to caramelize and residual fat is rendered (that is, until some tasty color develops and lingering fat crispens up or cooks off—I am so not into fat). If basting on barbeque sauce, do so every 2-3 minutes while grilling. 

And one last thing. I just want to thank you all so much for the reviews of Everyday Classics that you have left on Amazon. Your honesty and enthusiasm shine through and for that I am thankful. I am so pleased that you are enjoying it.