Garlicky Black Pepper & Turmeric Chicken Drumettes

Diagonal view of Garlicky Black Pepper & Turmeric Chicken Drumettes garnished with freshly chopped coriander on a long white rectangular serving plate. Small white dish stacked with lemon wedges in the back.

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These Garlicky Black Pepper & Turmeric Chicken Drumettes are super simple and easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and lighter and healthier than your average chicken wings! They’re perfect for a game day snack or appetizer, and always a crowd pleaser!


  • 710g Chicken Drumettes (about 12 – 16 pieces, you can use the wing part too if you like) – cleaned thoroughly, skin removed and discarded, excess fat trimmed if needed, and pat dried with paper towels.
  • 7 Garlic gloves – finely minced
  • 1 TBLS Ginger – finely minced
  • 58 Red Chilies, to taste – finely minced
  • 12 small Green chilies, to taste – finely minced
  • 1/3 Red Onion – thinly sliced
  • 23 TBLS freshly chopped Coriander (Cilantro)
  • 1 + ¼ TSP Black Pepper 1 TSP Kosher Salt, to taste 1 TSP Garam Masala (store-bought or homemade)
  • ¾ TSP Turmeric powder
  • ½1 TSP Kashmiri Red Chili Powder or ground Cayenne, to taste 1 TBLS + 1 TSP freshly squeezed Lemon juice, to taste
  • 12 TBLS Olive Oil (or any other cooking oil)
  • 1 TSP Chili Oil (optional)

To Garnish/Serve:

  • Remainder chopped Coriander
  • Lemon wedges (optional)



  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken drumettes, garlic, ginger, red and green chilies, black pepper, kosher salt, garam masala, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder or ground cayenne, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix thoroughly with a spoon and ensure that the chicken drumettes are coated well with the ingredients. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for 30-45 minutes, or overnight in the fridge for best results.


  1. Heat olive oil and chili oil (if using) in a deep medium sized sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the marinated chicken drumettes and cook them while flipping them over occasionally until they are no longer pink on any side – about 3 minutes. Cover the pan with a lid and turn down the heat to medium-low. Let the chicken cook for about 8-10 minutes, uncovering every 3-4 minutes to move them around and flip them.
  2. Once the chicken is tender and cooked, remove the lid and turn the heat back up to medium-high and add the sliced onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes with the chicken until they have softened slightly. They should still retain some crunch so don’t cook them for too long!
  3. Sprinkle half of the coriander over the chicken pieces and give it a good stir to combine. Turn off the heat and transfer to a dish or a large serving plate.
  4. To Garnish/Serve: Garnish with the remainder chopped coriander. Serve as an appetizer with lemon wedges (optional – for squeezing extra lemon juice if desired) or with steamed rice for a main course meal.


  1. Feel free to make this milder or hotter by reducing/increasing the amount of fresh red and green chilies as well as Kashmiri red chili powder/ground cayenne.
  2. If you prefer, you can blitz the garlic, ginger, and red and green chilies in a food processor <— (affiliate link – this is similar to the one I have) to save time. I personally prefer to finely mince the ingredients as I find it’s more flavorful this way. But totally your call! 
  3. To make ahead, you can marinate the chicken drumettes a day in advance and cover with cling wrap before storing overnight in the fridge. The next day, take them out of the fridge about 40 minutes to an hour before you cook so that they can come to room temperature before they hit the pan.
  4. I’ve made this with white onion too and it tastes just as great. Use whichever type of onion you have on hand or prefer.
  5. If you’re not big on chicken with bones, feel free to use boneless and skinless diced chicken breasts. You’ll need about 2-3 large chicken breasts that are roughly 400-450 grams in total.
  6. Prep time includes the minimum time for marinating the chicken for this recipe, not the time for the overnight marinating route.