Korean Drumsticks

Welcome to part two  – see part one here – of Breasts and Beyond: a series of easy-to-prepare chicken dishes created by chef Richard Bowman of Portland restaurant in central London.

Part one was all about the breasts, which are often the most difficult part of the bird to keep from drying out whilst cooking due to their uneven thickness. Today we have for you a delicious chicken drumstick recipe, inspired by the flavours and aromas of Korean street food.

Taking just over 30 minutes to prepare, this is a perfect snack to enjoy with a few chilled beers on a lazy Sunday afternoon when a KFC bucket might otherwise prove a tempting, but nowhere near as tasty choice.

Korean Red Pepper-marinated Drumsticks with a Spicy Gochujang Emulsion

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 1 or 2 people (depending on how hungry you are)


  • 2 chicken drumsticks
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. Korean red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. gochujang paste
  • Salt to taste

Equipment: You will need a small saucepan and two mixing bowls.

1. First you will need to turn on the grill to the highest setting and, if you’re using a whole bird, remove the drumsticks from the thighs. If you’re not confident doing this yourself you can ask your butcher to prepare the drumsticks for you.

2. Next, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a mixing bowl along with all of the Korean red pepper powder and a large pinch of sea salt, and stir thoroughly to make the marinade. When you’re happy with the flavour add the drum sticks to the bowl and gently shake until the skin is evenly coated.

3. Next, place the drum sticks on a baking tray and cook under the hot grill for around 25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so to ensure that all of the skin has a chance to brown. To check if the chicken is cooked all the way through before serving you can use a thermometer to check the temperature. Once the core has reached 75°C you can remove from the heat. If you don’t have access to a thermometer then simply use a skewer to spike through the meat right down to the bone; if the juices run clear on removal of the skewer then you’ll know that the chicken is cooked.

4. While you’re waiting you can make a start on the gochujang emulsion. Add 1 egg yolk and a splash of water to a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously whilst heating over a bain-marie until the mixture has thickened to a sabayon-like consistency and falls slowly from the whisk when lifted out of the bowl. Continue to whisk vigorously as you slowly pour in the remaining vegetable oil followed by a large teaspoon of gochujang paste, stopping when the components are fully combined.

5. When ready, place the drumsticks on a wooden board or warm plate with a dollop of emulsion and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds and enjoy with lovely cold beer or two.

Note: As with all meat products, it is highly recommended that you purchase your chicken from a trusted organic butcher.

Maddie Bowman

Maddie Bowman

Maddie is an ex-Fed Up & Drunker who has now been released into the wild.

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