How to Make “Chickola” Chicken Drumsticks with Coke

The combination of chicken drumsticks and Coca-Cola may sound unusual at first, but it creates a delectable and unique flavor profile.

Recipe by Cinnamon GrayCourse: ChickenDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 8 chicken drumsticks

  • Coca-Cola (½ pint – 275ml)

  • 2 tbsp light soy

  • 2 tbsp dark soy

  • 6 thick slices of fresh ginger

  • salt for seasoning

  • spring onion chopped for garnish


  • Cut into drumsticks this allows them to better absorb flavours
  • Preheat on a medium setting use a medium-deep pan, add cooking oil of choice (we used olive) and add fresh ginger slices
  • add drumsticks and turn frequently until sealed and browning
  • add the light and dark soy
  • add the coca-cola and a pinch of salt
  • place the lid and simmer for 45 minutes
  • remove lid and turn the drumsticks for another 3 minutes or until soaked in sauces
  • garnish with green onion and serve

Recipe Video


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  • Don’t be afraid to experiment, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, paprika, Chili powder, Fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary

This recipe involves marinating and cooking chicken drumsticks in a sweet and slightly tangy Coca-Cola-based sauce, resulting in tender, juicy, and flavor-packed drumsticks.

Historical Background of Using Soda in Cooking

Using soda as a cooking ingredient isn’t a new phenomenon. Its origins trace back to Southern cuisine, where sodas like Coca-Cola have been used to add a distinct sweetness and to tenderize meat. The carbonation in soda also helps to create a crispy texture when used in marinades and glazes.

Preparing the Chicken

Selecting Quality Drumsticks

Choosing the right drumsticks is crucial. Look for fresh, organic chicken drumsticks without any bruises or discoloration. Quality meat will enhance the overall flavor and texture of the dish.

Cleaning and Prepping the Chicken

Rinse the drumsticks under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This step is essential to remove any residual blood or bone fragments. Trim any excess skin or fat to ensure even cooking.

Marinating Process

Importance of Marination

Marinating the chicken drumsticks is a vital step that infuses them with flavor and helps to tenderize the meat. The Coca-Cola marinade not only adds sweetness but also penetrates the meat, making it incredibly juicy.

Recommended Marination Time

For optimal results, marinate the drumsticks for at least 2 hours. However, allowing them to marinate overnight in the refrigerator will yield the best flavor and tenderness.

Creating the Coca-Cola Marinade

Key Ingredients for the Marinade

The marinade is a simple yet flavorful blend of Coca-Cola, soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and minced garlic. Each ingredient plays a role in creating a balanced taste profile.

Step-by-Step Preparation

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine Coca-Cola, soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and minced garlic.
  2. Whisk the ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is well-blended.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken drumsticks, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for the recommended marination time.

Cooking Methods


Oven-baking is a straightforward method that allows for even cooking and a crispy exterior.

Stovetop Cooking

Cooking on the stovetop can provide a more controlled environment and allows for frequent basting.

Grilling Options

Grilling adds a smoky flavor to the drumsticks and gives them an appealing charred finish.

Baking Instructions

Preheating the Oven

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Ensuring the oven reaches the right temperature before cooking is crucial for even baking.

Baking Time and Temperature

Place the marinated drumsticks on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning them halfway through to ensure they cook evenly. Brush with extra marinade during the last 10 minutes for added flavor.

Stovetop Instructions

Preparing the Pan

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to prevent sticking.

Simmering to Perfection

Add the drumsticks and pour the marinade over them. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook for 35-45 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is tender and fully cooked.

Grilling Instructions

Prepping the Grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Clean the grates and lightly oil them to prevent sticking.

Achieving the Perfect Grill Marks

Place the drumsticks on the grill and cook for about 25-30 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes to achieve even cooking and beautiful grill marks. Baste with additional marinade to keep them moist.

Serving Suggestions

Ideal Side Dishes

Pair these Coca-Cola chicken drumsticks with classic sides like coleslaw, potato salad, or cornbread. For a healthier option, serve with a fresh garden salad or steamed vegetables.

Garnishing Tips

Garnish with chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. Adding a sprinkle of sesame seeds can also provide a delightful crunch.

Tips and Tricks

Ensuring Juicy Drumsticks

Avoid overcooking to keep the drumsticks juicy. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Don’t skip the marination step, as it’s crucial for flavor. Also, be careful not to burn the marinade sugars when grilling or baking.

“Chickola” Chicken Drumsticks with Coke

Variations of the Recipe

Spicy Coca-Cola Chicken

Add 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce or a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the marinade for a spicy kick.

Sweet and Tangy Versions

Incorporate a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for a tangier flavor, balancing the sweetness of the Coca-Cola.

Enjoy your unique and flavorful Coca-Cola chicken drumsticks, a dish that is sure to impress with its delicious and unexpected combination of ingredients.

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