Coca Cola Chicken Drumsticks

Coca Cola chicken drumsticks are marinated in a combination of soda, brown sugar, ketchup, and fresh ginger for a sauce that’s sticky, sweet and yummy.

Coca Cola chicken drumsticks are marinated in a combination of soda, brown sugar, ketchup, and fresh ginger for a sauce that's sticky, sweet and yummy.

Coca Cola Chicken


“It’s not soda, it’s not pop–it’s Coke, no matter what brand or flavor.”
-Bon Appétit,
Mac ‘n’ Cheese Is a Vegetable … and 21 More Reasons Why We Love the Southland

A word of advice if you show up thirsty in Mississippi – don’t ask for a pop.  Don’t ask for a soda.  Ask for a Coke.  It doesn’t matter if you really want a Sprite or a Dr. Pepper.  We’ll get to that later.

Think of it like this way: How often do you ask for a tissue to wipe your nose?  Or lip balm for your chapped lips?  No, you ask for a Kleenex and some Chap-Stick.  In the South, Coke is more than just a brand.  It’s an all encompassing term used to describe any carbonated, syrup-sweetened beverage.

Last week, cookbook author Martha Hall Foose visited my local library to do a reading from her newest book, A Southerly Course, and a book signing.  Martha’s first cookbook, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea not only won a James Beard award, but it is one of my favorite cookbooks.


You may wonder how someone does a reading from a cookbook.  No, it did not involve reading recipes aloud.  Martha’s books are intertwined with lovely stories of the South.  Stories so descriptive, that if I didn’t already live here I would want to pack up my things and move here.  Something about her stories makes me want to kick off my shoes, wiggle my toes, and spend an afternoon in a hammock with a glass of lemonade.

I chose this recipe from A Southerly Course because it was marinated in Coke.  Or as Martha refers to it in her book, “Co-Cola.”  Either pronunciation is perfectly acceptable around here.


Coca Cola Chicken


Coca Cola Chicken

Coca-Cola Chicken Drumsticks

Coca cola chicken drumsticks are marinated in a combination of soda, brown sugar, ketchup, and fresh ginger for a sauce that's sticky, sweet and yummy.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lisa B.


  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle soda
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  • Mix together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl or resealable bag. Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably up to 8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Remove chicken and reserve remaining marinade. Bring reserved marinade and chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Continue to boil for 15-20 minutes.
  • Arrange drumsticks on a large baking sheet and bake for 45-55 minutes, occasionally basting with reserved marinade mixture, until the skin is brown and crisp and juices run clear.

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  1. Thanks for the correction. Question though–What’s the salt for? The only place it’s mentioned is in the list of ingredients.

  2. At the very bottom of ingredients it says one cup chicken broth.

  3. It does not call for you to boil the chicken before marinating….just bake afterwards!

  4. In order to make them self-basting use the same trick that is used to make a turkey juicy, place the chicken and marinade in a baking pan and make a tent of aluminum foil to catch and release the marinade onto the chicken (you can even use a whole chicken for this). Your chicken wikll be juicy and you won’t have to keep opening the oven (losing heat) until it’s done.

  5. Hi Tracee,

    You should only bring the marinade to a boil – not the chicken. Whoops! I have corrected the recipe.

  6. I love the story about Coke! I’m a southern girl too and I was just recently explaining the whole “Coke” thing to my husband “the yankee”. He throught that was just DUMB. I guess it’s just a southern thing…I was born and raised in Texas. Just a quick question about the recipe. You boil the chicken legs and marinade on the stovetop before cooking them for almost an hour? Just seems like a long cooking time to me. I’ve got a daughter who loves chicken but has never had any carbonated beverages in her 10 1/2 years. We never gave her sips of our soda when she was growing up and now she refuses it and has become quite the snob when she sees her friends drinking it. I tell her to not blame her friends. Blame their parents! Ha! She only drinks milk, water, and a little juice every once in a while.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  7. I love the idea of Coke as an institution. though I’ve become a coke zero girl in my old age. I bet it makes for an awesome glaze!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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