This is a super easy recipe for a weeknight supper, and it makes for a lower-calorie alternative to buffalo wings. It's still a finger food and you get all the hot sauce yumminess, but these are slow-cooked instead of fried and drumsticks have a much more favorable meat-to-skin ratio than wings. You can use skin-on or skinless drumsticks, but if you use skin-on you will have to broil them afterward to crisp up the skin. I didn't feel like heating up my kitchen, plus I'm lazy, so I just took the skin off before cooking. You can do this easily by grasping the skin with a paper towel and pulling it off toward the bone. As I said, I am lazy, so I used bottled buffalo wing sauce but you can easily make your own if you'd prefer.
By the way, I created a visual recipe index on Pinterest, so you can view all of my slow cooker recipes here.
SLOW-COOKER BUFFALO CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS
Serves 4 to 6
- About 4 lbs chicken drumsticks, skin-on or skinless, your choice
- 1 cup bottled buffalo wing sauce such as Frank's Red Hot or homemade (make your own by combining 1 cup hot sauce such as Crystal with 1/2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce and 3-6 Tbs melted butter or ghee. Use less butter if you like a hotter, more concentrated sauce; use the higher quantity for a more mild sauce.)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (increase if you like super spicy wings
- Salt to taste
- Combine the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl.
- Measure out 1/2 cup of wing sauce. Pour a small amount of it into the bottom of a large slow cooker. Arrange the drumsticks in the slow cooker (keeping them in a single layer if possible). Sprinkle with the spice mix and cover with the rest of the sauce. Shake the pot or stir them around a bit to coat evenly.
- Cook for 4-6 hours on low. If you will be out of the house for a while and will have the pot sitting on the "warm" setting for a while, set the timer for 4 hours.
- Remove the drumsticks from the crock pot.
- If using skinless drumsticks: Microwave the remaining 1/2 cup of wing sauce for about a minute to heat it through. Brush or spoon the remaining sauce over the drumsticks and serve.
- If using skin-on drumsticks: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position. Place drumsticks, skin side up, on a wire rack set on a rimmed pan or a slotted broiler pan that has been sprayed or brushed with oil. Brush chicken with half of the remaining wing sauce (1/4 cup) and broil until skin crisps up and chars lightly, about 10-15 minutes. Flip it over, brush with remaining sauce, and broil for another 10-15 minutes. Serve.
I served this with homemade blue cheese and Greek yogurt dip. I know that a lot of my readers do not eat dairy. I think you just want some kind of cool, creamy dressing to provide a foil for the hot sauce, so I think that an avocado-based dip would work. Something like this dressing would work well, though I think I would substitute 1 Tbs minced chives or scallion greens for the herbes de provence, and perhaps some fresh or dried dill for a bit of a ranch dressing flavor. Or, if you eat dairy, this is a great recipe. If you want a bottled alternative Marzetti Simply Dressed has a decent ingredient list.
BLUE CHEESE GREEK YOGURT DIP
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 6-oz container plain Greek yogurt
- 2 oz (weight; about 1/2 cup) crumbled blue cheese
- 1 Tbs mayonnaise (I used olive oil mayo)
- 1 Tbs cider vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbs)
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp honey, agave, or other sweetener of choice
- Salt and pepper, to taste (I like LOTS of fresh black pepper in this)
- Mash the blue cheese with the mayonnaise.
- Stir in the Greek yogurt, then the other ingredients. Serve cold.