Paleo Buffalo Chicken

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks Recipe via Worthy Pause

Like many of the best food inventions, buffalo wings started with an accident. 

They were invented by Teressa Bellissimo (the owner of Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York) who needed to find a way to get rid of a bunch of extra chicken wings that were delivered in 1964. At the time, chicken wings were considered scraps (only good enough for soup stock), but she fried them, tossed them with vinegar and butter and served them with celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing. Eventually the vinegar gave way to vinegary hot sauce, and here we are today — there's nary a sports bar in the country that doesn't serve buffalo wings.

I was craving wings the other day, but the world told me to make drumsticks instead. (I went to buy wings at the grocery store, but the free-range chicken drumsticks that are usually super expensive just happened to be on sale at The Wedge, so I'm not mad about it.)

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks Recipe via Worthy Pause

This recipe isn't quite as classic as the original buffalo chicken, but it is very good!

The secret ingredient is cinnamon. I know that sounds weird with buffalo sauce, but it just gives it this extra kick that'll have all your friends asking for the recipe when you make it for game day or a Super Bowl party. And you will point them this-a-way during halftime.

This dry rub is honestly so tasty that you you don't even need to bother with the buffalo sauce, but I'm guessing you probably will. That's why you're here in the first place.

Let's sauce it up.

Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks

gluten-free, paleo & whole30-approved | serves 4-6

Chicken Ingredients

  • 3 lbs skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 2 T paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt

Buffalo Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil, melted (use butter for the non-paleo version)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel. This is important, or they won't get crispy!
  3. Toss them in olive oil, then place on a lined baking sheet. Pull the skin taught on each piece.
  4. Mix up the paprika, onion powder, chili powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl and rub the spice mixture all over the chicken on both sides.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, then flip the chicken over and bake for another 25 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, whisk the sauce together in a small bowl. You may want to whisk it on the stovetop, depending on what state of melt your coconut oil or ghee is in.
  7. When the chicken is cooked through (165 F internal temp), spoon the sauce over drumsticks and eat.


  • If your skin isn't getting crispy (like maybe you forgot that pat-dry step even though I told you not to skip it!), you can throw these under the broiler at the end. Just be careful or your precious drummies will get charred to a crisp very quickly.
  • If you do want more of a classic buffalo chicken, just omit the cinnamon. I will only be a little upset.
  • Obviously, blue cheese is totally optional. It isn't paleo, but crumble some on top if you eat cheese. You do you.
Paleo Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks Recipe via Worthy Pause

and now, we devour these straight off the pan.