Southern Sticky Chicken

There are recipes that take a basic ol’ boneless skinless chicken breast and dress it up into something appetizing for a quick, last-minute weeknight meal. And then there are recipes that take some hearty bone-in, skin-on chicken and do it justice as a crave-worthy, comforting meal that anyone would look forward to. This is the latter. Southern Sticky Chicken takes drumsticks and thighs and covers them in a sweet and savory sauce that coats your fingers as well as it does the chicken, but I can promise that you’re not going to mind that one bit.

Now, this isn’t the type of thing you can decide to make for dinner at 5:45 on a Wednesday night. It’s not hard or all that time consuming to cook, but the chicken does need time to really linger and soak in the flavor from the sauce. Six hours’ll do it and overnight is even better. But patience is a virtue, and all good things are worth waiting for. And trust me, this chicken is a really really good thing.

You likely have all the sauce ingredients on hand already – ketchup, honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire, garlic. There’s nothing fancy involved, but each thing is just as important as the last. The ketchup and honey bring in sweetness, while the soy sauce and Worcestershire keep things plenty savory. There’s a little tang and a whole lot of sticky sweetness.

While you might have to wait for these to marinade, the cooking process is super simple. It’s just a matter of a quick sear in the skillet and then they’re off to the oven to cook through. As they bake, the sauce caramelizes and coats every nook and cranny. They’re they very definition of finger-licking-good.

Southern Sticky Chicken

45 minutes to prepare serves 4


  • 8 skin-on chicken pieces, such as thighs, legs, drumsticks
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Olive oil, as needed


  1. Add chicken pieces to a large zip-top bag. In a medium bowl, mix together ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire, honey, and garlic and pour over chicken. Let marinate at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425°F and heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  3. Coat skillet with olive oil. Once hot, add chicken pieces and sear on all sides until browned.
  4. Pour marinade over chicken and place skillet in preheated oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes, basting chicken a couple times during cooking.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bake at Midnite.