Skillet teriyaki chicken drumsticks are one of the easiest recipes to make at home. Sticky teriyaki glaze made with canned pineapple juice is cooked together with drumsticks in one pan on the stove top. You will have juicy, tender, and full flavored chicken dinner in 25 minutes.

Teriyaki chicken drumsticks are in the oval platter over a floral napkin.

I think teriyaki chicken has universal appeal. Everyone from the young to the “young at heart” around the world enjoy it.

However, homemade version can be either hit or miss. (I’ve experienced some pretty bad homemade teriyaki chicken before.)

Here I present a no-fuss, no-fail teriyaki chicken recipe made with chicken drumsticks. You can enjoy tasty and moist chicken coated with beautiful homemade teriyaki sauce (glaze) prepared in 25 minutes from start to finish.

All you need is a single skillet (pan) and a couple of basic kitchen tools. You will be surprised at the outcome and how easy it is prepared. These flavorful teriyaki chicken drumsticks will become your family dinner routine on busy weeknights.

Teriyaki sauce glazed chicken drumsticks are garnished with sesame seeds in a pan with kitchen tongs

Best skillet teriyaki chicken recipe

Why you should try this teriyaki chicken drumsticks?

  • Made with chicken drumsticks–yes, you can make teriyaki chicken with drumsticks and it tastes divine with the sticky glaze.
  • No marinading–you don’t need to marinate the chicken with the sauce. Put everything together and start cooking right away.
  • One pan recipe–it is a no-bake recipe, so you don’t need to turn on the oven. This stovetop cooking method requires one single skillet to cook both the chicken and the teriyaki sauce at the same time. Easy and convenient!
  • No need sake (Japanese rice wine)–any rice wine will work or omit it.
  • Best teriyaki glaze–after cooking chicken drumsticks and the sauce mixture together, the sauce will turn into irresistibly sticky and luscious glaze that sticks to the chicken drumsticks.

Homemade teriyaki sauce

What makes this recipe so easy and tasty? It’s all about the sauce, folks! The thin sauce mixture turns into a beautiful sticky glaze after cooking with chicken. It is over the top tasty!

The secret?Pineapple juice.

It not only tenderizes the chicken dramatically, it infuses a flavor that takes your teriyaki sauce to the next level.

You don’t even need Sake (Japanese rice wine) with this chicken teriyaki recipe. Pineapple juice, brown sugar, and a hint of garlic and ginger will bring amazing flavor.

I have another tasty recipe using canned pineapple juice. See my Asian meatballs with pineapple soy glaze recipe.

Now, if you have some chicken drumsticks laying around in your fridge and you don’t know what to do with them, you’ve got to try this quick teriyaki chicken dinner.

Let me tell you, if you have young kids, they will gobble these up. It’s a great quick dinner idea, especially with chicken drumsticks.

Ingredients used for making Teriyaki chicken is placed on a wooden counter.

Grab these ingredients

  • chicken drumsticks – skin removed if possible
  • pineapple juice – adds more flavor to the teriyaki sauce
  • brown sugar – better than white sugar in this recipe
  • garlic and ginger – aromatic savory stuff
  • sweet rice wine – optional. If you have it, use it. If not, no worry!
  • sesame oil – Every teriyaki sauce should include sesame oil.
  • black pepper – pepper does what pepper does in the dish
  • toasted sesame seeds – for a garnish.

Recipe Note

Remove skin from chicken drumsticks.

A hand is pulling off the skin removed by kitchen scissors from the chicken drumsticks

It’s optional to do so but I recommend it — removing the skin will reduce the amount of fat and makes the teriyaki glaze brighter and cleaner. I’m not a huge fan of chicken skin to begin with.

You can use a paper towel to hold the drumsticks and peel off the skin. Or use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off the skin.

How to make teriyaki chicken drumsticks in a skillet

Step 1. Make teriyaki sauce. Combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic, ginger paste, rice wine (if using), sesame oil, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl and mix well.

Step 2. Place chicken drumsticks in a shallow pan or skillet. Pour the sauce over the drumsticks.

Step 3. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle boil. Toss the chicken around and cover the pan with a lid (or a piece of foil). Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Step 4. Uncover the lid and turn the chicken to the other side in the sauce. Cover again ands cook another 5-6 minutes.

Step 5. Remove the lid and raise the heat to medium high. The sauce will start to boil rapidly.
Continue cooking to thicken the sauce. It will soon turn into teriyaki glaze. Toss the chicken occasionally to coat evenly as you thicken the glaze. Be careful not to burn the glaze. You might need to reduce the heat at the last minute.

Step 6. When the glaze seems thick enough and clings to the chicken, and the bottom of the pan has become slightly dry, remove the pan from the heat. Place teriyaki chicken drumsticks on a serving platter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

teriyaki chicken drumsticks are served with steamed broccoli

What to serve with teriyaki chicken drumsticks

They are best served with rice and steamed vegetables or any vegetable side dish. Make sure to provide enough napkins for your diners. They will need it.

More chicken dinner ideas

Looking for more chicken recipes? Here are a few of my favorites that are easy and quick to prepare. I cook these recipes often.

Two teriyaki drumsticks are served with rice and steamed broccoli on a plate with chopsticks

Tried this recipe? Please take a moment to leave a star rating & comment below. I love hearing from you and it helps other readers, too.

Teriyaki chicken drumsticks are in the oval platter over a floral napkin.

Skillet Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks (Easy 25 Minute Recipe)

These skillet teriyaki chicken drumsticks are a no-fuss one pan recipe prepared on the stove top. The tender, moist chicken drumsticks are coated with an irresistible sticky teriyaki glaze made with pineapple juice.
5 from 2 ratings

Recipe Video

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • To make teriyaki sauce, combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, rice wine (if using), garlic, ginger paste, sesame oil, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl and mix well.
  • Place chicken drumsticks in a shallow pan or skillet. Pour the sauce over the drumsticks.
  • Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle boil. Toss the chicken around and cover the pan with a lid (or a piece of foil). Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Uncover the lid and turn the chicken to the other side in the sauce. Cover again ands cook another 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and raise the heat to medium high. The sauce will start to boil rapidly. Continue cooking to thicken the sauce. It will soon turn into teriyaki glaze. Toss the chicken occasionally to coat evenly as you thicken the glaze. Be careful not to burn the glaze. You might need to reduce the heat at the last minute.
  • When the glaze seems thick enough and clings to the chicken, and the bottom of the pan has become slightly dry, remove the pan from the heat. Place teriyaki chicken drumsticks on a serving platter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve warm with rice.

Notes

Remove skin from chicken drumsticks: It’s optional to do so but I recommend it — removing the skin will reduce the amount of fat and makes the teriyaki glaze brighter and cleaner. You can use a paper towel to hold the drumsticks and peel off the skin. Or use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off the skin.
Calories: 312kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 140mg, Sodium: 1199mg, Potassium: 414mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 72IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 2mg
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