Jerked Chicken Drumsticks

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Drumsticks are as delicious as thighs, and braising tenderizes drumsticks like no other type of cooking, so I like to find a variety of recipes to make with them. I was going a bit crazy trying to get a nice from-scratch jerk paste that would be easy to make and easy to eat. Bottled sauces were too hot. And then I found dry Jamaican jerk seasoning, as easy as can be, on the spice rack. You make your own quick jerk paste in the food processor and use the more delicious dark meat. Serve with beer, fresh flour tortillas with butter, and rice. For a cooling side dish, drizzle chopped avocado with lime juice and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.

NotesCooker: 3 quart

Setting and cook time: Low for 6 to 7 hours, or High for 3 to 4 hours


Cooking Methodslow cooking



Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCooking for a date

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, tree nut free

Equipmentcrock pot, food processor


Taste and Texturehot & spicy, meaty


  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and cut in half (if you want a zestier taste, add the seeds)
  • 5 green onions, ends trimmed and cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Myers’s rum (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 6 chicken drumsticks
  • ½ medium-size red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ medium-size green bell pepper, sliced


  1. Place the chile, green onions, vinegar, brown sugar, oil, soy sauce, rum (if using), lime juice, jerk seasoning, and salt in a food processor; puree until smooth.

  2. Spray the inside of the crock with nonstick cooking spray. Place the drumsticks in the slow cooker, laying them side by side. Pour the seasoning paste over the chicken and turn to coat the pieces, using a small spatula. Add the bell pepper strips. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours (or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours), until the chicken is cooked through. Serve hot.


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