Soy Sauce Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes… and Wine

This recipe was passed down from my Nana to my mom to me. When my mom was explaining the directions to me over the phone the night before, she remembered that this is how she learned the recipe from her mother too. As far as I know, my family has been making soy sauce chicken drumsticks and potatoes for decades without ever writing down the recipe. As this is one of my favorite ways to eat chicken and I’m a little bit absent-minded, I’ve got to write it down. For posterity.

What you’ll need:

Chicken drumsticks, obviously. I made 6 drumsticks for two people because they were relatively small. Also, if you can, please make sure to get humanely treated chickens!

Two XL potatoes or 3 medium

Soy sauce! I prefer the low sodium version

Minced garlic or garlic powder, whichever you prefer or have on hand

Balsamic vinegar [I guess this one is optional, but it adds another dimension of flavor to the soy sauce]

Pepper and paprika are what I used as far as seasonings, but I highly encourage playing around with different flavors!

How to make the dish:

Before you start, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually I forget to preheat so consider this your reminder.

Grease the bake-safe pan. I used my rosemary infused olive oil, but you can use canola oil or Pam etc., whatever floats your boat.

Lay the chicken drumsticks close together in the pan, leave room for potatoes.

Pour soy sauce over the drumsticks, and roll them around in the soy sauce to coat them on all sides.

Slice the potatoes into fourths or eighths lengthwise (like fat fries), and place in the same pan as the chicken legs. I bought ginormous potatoes so I ended up cutting mine into eighths. Drizzle with olive oil, then a little soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.

Tis the season for seasonings; I put paprika on the chicken, and pepper and garlic powder over both the potatoes and drumsticks. Like so.


Cover the pan with foil and bake for an hour. For the last 15 or so minutes, remove the foil so that the skin on the chicken gets a little crispy.

While you wait, pour yourself some wine (if you’re of drinking age, of course) and write a blog about your cooking… no wait… read a blog about cooking. Yes, that’s it.

I actually had two different kinds of wine while I waited for my food. First was a Bordeaux Blanc by Jean Marc Barthez. This aperitif is bright, refreshing and citrusy. It really gets the mouth-watering and ready to eat.

The second wine is from Italy; it’s called simply Rosso (“red” in Italian) and is made in Sicily by Don Mannarone. It is actually quite complex, flavor-wise. I am used to drinking very dry wines, so the first thing that I noticed is that it is sweet and fruity, a little bit like a cherry. However, it also has a cinnamon taste to it as well. As you swallow, it starts to taste more dry and almost a bit citrusy, but the cherry flavor still lingers. As it warms to room temperature and opens up, it becomes less sweet and more and more dry. I’d recommend it as more of a dessert wine, but here I am having dessert wine first, because life is short.


Back to the food! There was quite a bit of liquid still left in the pan when I took it out, so I flipped the drumsticks and put it back in for 2ish minutes.


Time to eat! I don’t mean to toot my own horn (okay, just a little bit), but it all turned out pretty well. The chicken was juicy and the potatoes were sufficiently soft. Alex doesn’t usually eat chicken, but even he said it was tasty! It’s also a really nice recipe I think because it’s flavorful, but not fatty. Aside from the sodium in the soy sauce–if you opted for the non-low-sodium version– it’s a relatively healthy meal. Something I might change next time is less balsamic vinegar, and a little more soy sauce and paprika for the chicken.

It doesn’t taste the same as my when my mom made it, and probably my mom’s version is different from my Nana’s version. But I guess that’s what happens over time.

As always, if you try the recipe (or the wine), I want to hear what you thought!





  1. Awesome pairings!! I’m a vegetarian but I would definitely try those potatoes with the Rosso and maybe sub in some balsamic Portobello mushrooms for the chicken! Thanks for the inspiration, I love your blog 🙂


  2. I love it – have a glass of wine while you’re waiting for it to bake lol! This looks delicious and easy to put together. Thanks for sharing!


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