These chicken legs are golden on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside and unbelievably savory with every bite. With just a few simple ingredients, we turn ordinary chicken drumsticks into extraordinary.
This is one of those recipes that I get excited about. It’s so easy to make and the results are always awesome. It’s easily adjustable too – you can double or triple the recipe for a crowd, or even add a bit of kick of heat and serve on game day. I think you’re really gonna love this recipe!
Chicken drumsticks are the star of his show, and I love that they’re still very affordable. You can usually find packages of drumsticks that are much lower in price than any other part of the chicken. That’s fine with me! Even if it’s a large package i’ll use what I need now and freeze the rest for later.
We’ll use a simple seasoning blend of dry herbs and spices: paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary, parsley, ground mustard, salt and pepper. Then we’ll use a tablespoon of olive oil to hold all the seasonings to the chicken and help get that golden crisp skin we love to much.
This recipe is SO easy. We simply mix herbs and spices in a small dish. Add the chicken legs to a large, gallon-sized ziptop bag and add the olive oil. Seal the bag and roll those legs around for a minute to distribute the oil evenly on all the chicken. Then, open the bag, pour in the seasonings, close the bag and do the shake thing. Take a minute or so to do this and massage the chicken to really get that seasoning well distributed.
Set aside for a minute and preheat your oven to 425°(F) and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Give the foil a good spray with non-stick cooking spray. This is important as the chicken will stick without it.
Now take the chicken out of the bag and place on the foil lined sheet. Then into the oven it goes for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes the chicken will be a beautiful golden color and the inside will be at least 165°(F) when checked with an instant read thermometer. In fact, it will probably be closer to 185-195°(F) which is exactly what we want!
Pro Tip: Chicken Legs are Better at 185-195°(F)!
The rule of cooking chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F has been well-established for quite some time. However, when it comes to darker meat portions such as chicken legs, thighs, or the entire leg quarter, exceeding this temperature is often encouraged for optimal results! When heated to around 185°F, the collagens within the meat begin to break down, contributing to the juiciness and “fall-off-the-bone” tenderness that we cherish so much in dark poultry meat.
Check out this great article by America’s Test Kitchen regarding “overcooking” chicken drumsticks and thighs.
Let Rest and Serve
Carefully remove the chicken to a plate or platter and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Can this recipe be doubled?
It sure can. You can even triple or quadruple this recipe! Simply adjust the ingredients accordingly. The cook time will still be 40 minutes, just be sure to not crowd the chicken too much on the pan. Keep the legs from touching and always keep in a single layer.
Give it a kick
Want to give the chicken legs a little heat? Add a ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and even a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. You can also deepen the flavor by using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika.