Sticky chicken. Mmmm. It’s really amazing. This has been a family favorite of ours since I found the recipe online over 17 years ago on Mimi’s Cyber Kitchen. It was also one of the first recipes in my Once a Month Cooking Chicken Plan, which I’m working on revising for the new site. You can find the old version here.
The original recipe calls for a whole chicken. Over the years, I’ve adapted this for my family and our budget. We’ve successfully used it with whole turkeys, turkey breasts, and chicken legs. I’ve adapted the recipe so much that it’s not much like the original, though some of the spices are the same as well as the method of slow roasting. And it is GOOD.
I can still find 10 lb bags of chicken leg quarters for .59 to .69 a pound (usually at Walmart). This is still a great deal and a cheap way to feed your family. We find that 10 pounds makes a double batch for the 5 of us. Currently in my household, I have a ravenous teenager who lives for Sticky Chicken, a husband with a high metabolism who eats everything and often more than the teen, plus two small kids who eat like birds. Your mileage may vary, but we get TWO dinners out of this for $5-$6. We love having leftovers, and they freeze well, but ours never make it to the freezer!
This recipe doesn’t take long to prepare, but cooks for three hours. I used to make it a lot as a stay at home mom. As a working mom, I save this one for the weekend. My kids still say the secret ingredient is “love”. Whenever I make this, the aroma fills the house for hours, and the kids pester me just as long with “WHEN is dinner, Mom???” Because to them, the whole house smells like “love”.
- 4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 10 lb bag of chicken leg quarters
- garlic scapes or scallions (optional)
- In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all the spices. Set aside.
- With a sharp chef's knife, divide the leg quarters, cutting through the joint between the leg and thigh. Trim excess fat if desired, but leave the skins on for the best taste.
- Arrange the chicken in one layer in a large pan (I use two pans).
- Sprinkle the chicken legs evenly with the spice mixture.
- Roast, uncovered, at 250° F (121° C) for 3 hours.
- After the first hour, baste chicken once or twice with pan juices.
- Before serving, drain the pan juices into a large saucepan. Don't worry about separating the fat. Add a cup of flour, and make Stick Chicken gravy! Often enough of the spices will be in the juices to give is a nice flavor with a slight kick from the cayenne. If not, just add a few more in there to taste. Serve with mashed potatoes. Mmmmm.
You can prepare this one ahead of time and then defrost. Just cut up the chicken and freeze. You can put the spice mixture in a baggy and attach it to the bagged chicken or make it later. Once defrosted and arranged in the pan, sprinkle with spices. I've tried freezing with the spices in the bag and it was "ok" but seems a bit diluted. I had to add more spices to get the wonderful, spicy crust.
Credit: I've adapted this recipe from the original Sticky Chicken Recipe found on Mimi's Cyber Kitchen.