Sambal chicken drumsticks

We had made a delicious sambal badjak a week earlier, and it was quite a lot. Now you can, of course, freeze it, but we also wanted to cook with the sambal. So we made these delicious sambal chicken drumsticks.

The mild heat of the sambal badjak with the sweet honey is a great combination. If you want it all a bit hotter, you can always adjust the ratio.

We use drumsticks for this recipe. If you prefer wings, that is no problem. The recipe does not change much. Perhaps the cooking time will be slightly shorter. Just make sure to use free-range chicken. You can taste that the chicken has walked around freely.

We apply the rub at least 3 hours in advance. It can also be done a day earlier. In fact, the drumsticks only get better. The salt in the rub removes moisture from the skin of the chicken. As a result, you are almost certain of great crispy skin.

We will first heat the rubbed drumsticks indirectly for half an hour to 45 minutes with a temperature of around 150°C (300F). This low and slow cook is crucial to break down the connective tissue in a drumstick. If a drumstick is not heated long enough, you will eventually keep some pieces in the meat that remain a bit rubbery. But more about that later.

After the first half-hour, you can see that the skin of the chicken is nice and dry. That’s when we start brushing the drumsticks with the sauce. Well, brush. We just throw the sauce in the bowl with chicken and give the drumsticks a nice stir. That works fine. Then we fire up the barbecue a little bit to about 180 degrees Celsius (350F), and then the drumsticks go back in.

You now cook the drumsticks for about half an hour to a core temperature of 85°C (185F). That seems high, but that is why our drumsticks are always tender. You will notice that with some drumsticks, the skin detaches off the bone. That’s when you know you’re done. Check with a core thermometer to be sure.

These drumsticks are just right. But if you or a guest want it a bit hotter, just put a jar of sambal next to it.


  • 8 drumsticks

For the dry rub

  • 3 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic granulate

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp sambal
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar


  1. Mix the ingredients for the dry rub. Pat the drumsticks dry with some kitchen paper and sprinkle with the dry rub. Leave them uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  2. Prepare a barbecue for indirect barbecuing at 150°C (300F). Place the drumsticks on the barbecue and close the lid for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the sambal with the honey and vinegar. Then remove the drumsticks from the barbecue and put them in the sauce.
  4. Heat the barbecue to 180°C (350F) and put the drumsticks back on and close the lid. The drumsticks are ready when the core temperature is 85°C (185F).

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