Slow Down With Your Slow Cooker: Root Beer Chicken Drummies


As you may imagine, cooking 3 meals a day for four young boys is not without challenges.  I’d be lying if I told you that one of them didn’t have a complaint about dinner each night when I set a meal on the table.  I’d also be lying if I didn’t tell you that for every complaint, I also hear a few cheers–they don’t always agree on what is palatable at the moment. That said, I’m not in the business of being a short order cook, so as long as they all eat something on their plates, I’m happy.  Bottom line: they eat what is served, or the next meal is breakfast–it just has to be that way.

But some nights? Some nights I’m not in the mood for any complaining. Some nights I want to make a “slam dunk” dinner that everyone loves, but doesn’t involve kid food like meatloaf, spaghetti, or mac & cheese.

Root Beer Chicken Drummies is one of those slam dunk dinners.  My boys are crazy about chicken drumsticks, especially when they are cooked in root beer!  Don’t let the soda scare you–the root beer adds a sweetness which is complemented by the slight tang of lemon, ginger, and garlic. Rest assured that these drummies elicit cheers from all of my boys.  As for me…well, I just sprinkle on a few sesame seeds, add a spinach salad, and suddenly I don’t feel relegated to the kid-food abyss in order to avoid meal time strife.

The kid-food abyss is no place for the faint of heart. Get out while you still can!

Root Beer Chicken Drummies are a good place to start.

Start by spraying the inside of a slow cooker crock with olive oil. Place the crock into your slow cooker before tackling the sauce ingredients.  Sauce ingredients can be feisty. Show ’em who’s boss.

Squeeze some ketchup into a large measuring cup, and then pour in some root beer.

Temper the sweetness of the ketchup/root beer combination by adding chopped onion and a little Worcestershire sauce to the mix.

Squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice for extra tang.

Grab a little fresh ginger root. Fresh ginger root is definitely worth the effort because the flavor of fresh is so much better than that of dried ginger. Don’t worry about using the entire root before it goes bad, because it freezes well! Just pop the unused ginger root into a freezer bag, and lop of a hunk when you need it.

Peel and mince a small hunk of ginger root, and add that to the measuring cup. Whisk the sauce ingredients; set them aside.

Grab the chicken drumsticks and remove the outer skins.  I find that the skin readily pulls back toward the skinny end of the drumstick. Once the skin is pulled back, I take a pair of kitchen scissors to snip it away.

If you are feeling really ambitious, freeze the chicken skin to make chicken stock another day.

Once skinned, sprinkle the drumsticks with a little kosher salt and black pepper before adding them to the prepared crock.

Pour the sauce over the drumsticks, turning to coat if necessary. Cover and cook the chicken in a slow cooker set to HIGH for one hour.  After the first hour, reduce the heat to LOW and continue cooking for 6 to 7 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Serve chicken with a spoonful of the cooking sauce over top. If you’re like me and want to feel like you are eating a grown-up meal, then sprinkle on a few sesame seeds and a little chopped parsley–because it’s the little things at mealtime that make all the difference.

Here’s the printable:

Oh! Wait a second!  Did y’all notice that I have a new “Print Friendly” button on the bottom of my blog pages? Clicking that button will turn this entire post into a printer friendly format. It’s magic, man! You are also able to print as much or as little of the post as you like…print all the step-by-step instructions, or delete those and just print the recipe at the end. The choice is yours!

Now here’s the printable…for real this time!

Root Beer Chicken Drummies

Serves 6


For Chicken:

3 ¼ to 4 lbs. Chicken Drumsticks (about 12)

¼ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

For Sauce:

1 C. Root Beer (Regular please, NOT Diet!)

1 C. Ketchup

¼ C. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

¼ C. minced fresh onion

1 Tbs. fresh ginger root, peeled & minced

1 clove garlic, peeled & minced

Optional (for serving):

Toasted sesame seeds

Freshly chopped parsley

Spray the inside of the crock of a slow cooker; set aside.

  1. Remove the skin from the chicken drumsticks.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and then place them in the prepared crock.
  3. Place the root beer, ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, onion, ginger root, and garlic into a medium bowl; whisking to combine.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken, turning drumsticks to coat, if necessary.
  5. Turn the slow cooker on HIGH and cook for 1 hour.
  6. Reduce the setting to LOW and continue cooking for 6-7 hours or until chicken is done.
  7. Serve chicken with a little sauce spooned over top.
  8. Sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and chopped parsley, if desired.


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  1. says

    My son would love these too Kirsten. And I can totally relate with you regarding meals. I have only one and I hear complains, I can imagine what you hear with four boys! You are a hero my friend!

  2. Lorraine says

    Sounds like a fun recipe to try. Would it matter much if the Worcestershire sauce is left out? Due to food allergies, it doesn’t get invited to our house any more. Thanks!

  3. says

    These sound great! I have a hard enough time satisfying a family of four — I have no idea how you please a family of six! (With meals like this, I guess.)

  4. says

    I only have two appetites to satisfy in this household but both of them would really enjoy this recipe. Thanks for adding the print button to your blog :)

    • comfortablydomestic says

      I can’t say for sure, because I’ve not tried baking this recipe. Logically, I’d say that it should work to braise in the oven vs. the crock pot, but the length of time will need to be adjusted. I’d be interested in your feedback if you try this recipe in the oven, though. :)

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