Baked Chicken Legs And Chicken Leg Quarters Are The Ultimate In Effortless Budget
Sure, chicken breasts get a lot of attention as people look for easy and delicious ways to eat healthier. Still, you can’t deny the deliciousness of a well-cooked chicken leg. The white meat parts of the chicken are considered healthier than dark meat . But the truth is, there isn’t a significant health difference between the two. Dark meats do contain a bit more fat than their light meat counterparts, but chicken is still one of the healthiest proteins you can consume. And chicken legs are also inexpensive, versatile, meaty, and moist. Many chicken lovers consider them the most flavorful part of the bird.
There are many different ways you can cook chicken legs and thighs, but one of our favorites for flavor and ease has to be oven baking. This technique results in a moist, juicy chicken with a crisp, flavorful outer crust that everyone in the family will love.
More Easy Chicken Recipes Readers Love
- Juicy Chicken Breast The best way to make chicken breast thats juicy, not dry!
- Crispy Chicken Thighs Just as easy as these chicken drumsticks.
- Crock Pot Whole Chicken The slow cooker makes tender, fall-apart chicken with virtually no work. So good!
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings People rave about this one. Theyll be crispiest wings youve ever had.
Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks
This is just a great, simple baked chicken drumsticks recipe you can get in the oven quickly. A 3-ingredient seasoning adds terrific flavour and colour. Meanwhile, the secret to a lovely crispy skin is a touch of baking powder. Dont believe me? Read the reviews in my Truly Crispy Baked Chicken Wings which uses the same trick!
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What Do You Put On Chicken Legs In The Oven
There are a few things you can put in there to make sure your bird is cooked through and safe to eat. Here are a few tips:
Why You’ll Love Baked Chicken Drumsticks
Convenience – Baked chicken legs require 5 minutes of active prep and about 30 minutes of hands-off baking, which gives you time to prepare a salad or side dish. It’s perfect for busy people of all cooking levels.
Family-loved – Kids go crazy for crispy chicken drumsticks, which makes everyone happy. Countless people have thanked me for rescuing their last-minute family dinner with these chicken legs.
Budget-friendly – Chicken legs are the most affordable part of a chicken. Since this recipe only requires a few simple pantry ingredients, your grocery dollars go even further.
So much flavor – The dark meat portion of a chicken always cooks up so juicy and tender once, especially bone-in skin-on chicken pieces. Just like air fryer chicken drumsticks and baked chicken thighs, the delectable results are built-in, which makes baked chicken legs a fail proof recipe for beginner cooks.
Minimal planning – You know the saying. Fail to plan, plan to fail uhhh, rock this dinner! The only plan you need is to have chicken legs on hand. After that, it takes 5 minutes to combine seasonings, coat the drumsticks, and push them into a preheated oven.
Nutritious – Oven baked chicken legs are a naturally low-carb, high protein entree.
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Tips For The Best Baked Chicken Legs
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture, and then coat the drumsticks with olive oil before seasoning. These steps are very important if you want crispy, golden brown skin.
- Lay the chicken legs on the baking sheet with enough room around each so theyre not touching. Having proper heat circulation while baking is key for even cooking.
- If you want to boost the crispiness of the skin, you can broil the chicken during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Keep an eye on the legs to prevent them from burning.
- If the chicken starts to brown too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil.
- For a finger-licking good twist on flavor, brush the chicken with your favorite BBQ sauce during the last 5-8 minutes of baking!
- This baked chicken legs recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free.
Different Seasoning Ideas For Chicken Legs
There are a million different seasonings and spices you can play around with when making baked chicken legs. Stick to the recipe as-is or check out the flavor combinations below to inspire you.
- Garlic Lovers: Garlic powder , onion powder, salt, and pepper
- Spicy Honey Mustard: Mix 1/4 cup of melted honey with two tablespoons of mustard and a couple of pinches of chili powder
- Lemon Pepper: Mix lemon juice with freshly cracked pepper and salt to taste
- Italian Flare: Coat the chicken in dried oregano , garlic powder, salt, and pepper
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Can I Use Chicken Thighs To Make This Recipe
Yes, you can. I suggest using bone-in chicken thighs. I prefer skin-on chicken for this type of dish. The skin serves as a layer of protection to prevent the meat from drying out and creates a crispy exterior. Thats a win-win!
You can also use whole chicken legs with the thigh attached .
If you love baked chicken try my Oven Roasted Blackened Chicken.
How To Cook Chicken Legs In The Air Fryer
This section shows how to cook chicken drumsticks in the air fryer, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Preheat the air fryer. It heats up quickly, but its an important step! Pat the chicken dry while you do this.
- Make compound butter. Use a fork to mash together butter, garlic, parsley, and sea salt.
- Season underneath the skin. Run your hand under the skin of each chicken leg to separate it from the meat, then place a dollop of butter underneath and press gently so that it spreads out.
- Season over the skin. Sprinkle smoked paprika, pepper and more salt on the drumsticks.
FYI: Were putting the butter underneath the skin so that it wont burn. Its what makes the meat super juicy!
- Air fry chicken. Place drumsticks in the air fryer in a single layer, skin side down. Air fry for 10 minutes, flip, and air fry for another 8-10 minutes.
TIP: Use a meat thermometer to confirm doneness. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.
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Serving The Chicken Legs
These delicious baked chicken legs can be quickly served only with a wild rocket salad and a glass of cold beer you will have a perfect dinner.
I preferred to serve the roasted chicken legs in the oven, with mashed potatoes or potato salad, which should be prepared beforehand.
Try this roasted chicken legs in the oven recipe and you will see that you will love it, if you like chicken recipes, I can recommend others on our blog, such as:
Air Fryer Bbq Chicken Legs
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Tender, juicy Chicken Legs that are tossed in olive oil and seasoning then basted with BBQ sauce. This Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Legs are tender, juicy and an easy and delicious dinner recipe!
You dont have to wait for grilling season to make juicy BBQ chicken legs! If you have an air fryer, you can make this delicious main dish all year long.
These air fryer BBQ chicken legs are seasoned with a flavorful spice rub and brushed with BBQ sauce. Theyre so easy, and the air fryer makes the best crispy-skinned chicken!
These chicken legs are based off my famous Air Fryer Chicken Legs, but we add a BBQ sauce at the end for the perfect finger-lickin sticky finish.
Dont have an air fryer? No worries! You should try my crockpot chicken legs or easy baked chicken theyre delicious, too!
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How Long Does It Take To Bake Chicken Legs At 400
Mashed potatoes are a popular dish, and many people add milk to them to make them more flavorful and creamy. There are a few different types of milk that can be used for mashed potatoes, and some people prefer one type of milk over another. Here is a list of the best milk to add to mashed potatoes according to some people:
-Butter: This is a great option because it is high in butterfat and makes the mashed potatoesoutube much softer. It also helps release flavors from the potatoes.
-Heavy cream: This option has both fat and milk .Heavy cream also contains protein, magnesium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, vitamin D, pantothenic acid, thiamine and niacin.
What To Make With Crispy Chicken Thighs
Serve up these crispy oven baked chicken thighs with an easy side dish:
- Potatoes Roasted or mashed are popular options, but I prefer healthier mashed cauliflower or roasted rutabaga instead.
- Rice Regular white or brown rice, or cauliflower rice.
- Vegetables Try roasted asparagus, green beans almondine, sauteed zucchini or mushrooms, or a mix of oven roasted vegetables.
- Salad Healthy salads always pair well with chicken!
- Sauces These chicken thighs are already super crispy and juicy, but if you want a sauce, you can serve BBQ sauce or honey mustard on the side.
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Air Fryer Chicken Legs Recipe
The BEST air fryer chicken legs, ready in 30 minutes! Cooking chicken drumsticks in the air fryer makes them juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
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These air fryer chicken legs make a quick and easy dinner! Baked chicken drumsticks are my go-to, but Ive been pulling out my air fryer more and more lately. And just like air fried chicken wings, air fryer whole chicken, air fryer chicken thighs, and air fryer chicken breast, making chicken legs in the air fryer crisps the outside better than the oven, and the inside gets incredibly juicy.
Compound Butter Underneath The Skin:
Butter underneath the chicken skin ensures super juicy chicken thighs and adds loads of flavor, while the skin protects the butter and fresh herbs from the high heat of the oven.
- Butter I prefer grass-fed butter for nutrition and flavor, but you can use any unsalted butter.
- Garlic Use whole garlic cloves, because we are going to crush them.
- Fresh Herbs I used fresh parsley and dill. You can experiment with other fresh herbs see variations in my compound butter recipe post.
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How Long To Bake Chicken Tenderloins At 400
Chicken tenderloins may not take as long to cook at 400 degrees as chicken drumsticks. It depends on how thick your chicken is and how much of it youre putting in the oven at once.
How long to bake chicken tenders at 400 degrees Fahrenheit?
Pieces of chicken like this tend to be relatively thin and will bake fairly quickly. If they are fully thawed, they can cook in about 20 minutes.
Tenderloins usually take 20 to 25 minutes, if you have a tray of those in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
If chicken tenders or chicken tenderloins are frozen, they will take longer to cook. How long to bake thin cutlets at 400 degrees if they are frozen? You should give them about 30 to 35 minutes.
This allows them both time to thaw out and to cook thoroughly. Once again, you can use the thermometer to check the internal temperature just to be sure.
Chicken strips and chicken tenders take about the same amount of time to cook. So, if youre wondering how long to bake chicken strips at 400, its about 20 to 25 minutes for thawed strips and tenders and 30 to 35 minutes for frozen ones.
What Temperature to Bake Chicken Legs
Ingredients For Baked Chicken Legs:
Chicken Were using skin-on chicken drumsticks here. The skin is crispy and flavorful and helps keep the interior nice and juicy.
Seasoning Youll need a mix of smoked paprika , garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Oil When cooking at higher temperatures, we like to use avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil. We have had lots of readers use olive oil and been happy with those results as well.
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Preparing Baked Chicken Legs
Preparing these baked chicken legs only requires 4 simple ingredients and some super simple prep. Below, find a simplified overview of the process before you get to cooking.
- Preheat the Oven: First, turn the oven to 400°F.
- Season the Chicken Legs: Using your hands, massage the seasoning onto all the chicken legs.
- Bake the Chicken Legs: Assemble the chicken legs in a single layer on a baking sheet or baking dish . Bake the chicken legs for about 40 minutes. Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy!
Best Practices For Storing Your Leftovers
To keep your chicken legs fresh for up to a week, keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge. This will keep them from drying out and absorbing any smells lingering in your fridge.
Reheating Tip: The best way to reheat your chicken legs is either back in the oven or in an air fryer until warmed through.
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What Are Chicken Leg Quarters
A whole chicken leg is a thigh and a drumstick in one piece. Pictured above, an entire chicken leg is also known as a thigh-drumstick piece. When a thigh-drumstick part has a portion of the back attached, these cuts are chicken leg quarters.
Thigh-drumstick pieces and chicken leg quarters may be used interchangeably however, because chicken pieces vary in size, be sure to cook whichever cut you use long enough to reach a safe internal temperature of 175°F. Often, thigh-drumstick pieces are separated into two portions: the drumstick and the thigh. Sometimes, the separate drumstick portion is also referred to as a chicken leg.
Tips For Crispy Chicken Legs
- Pat the drumsticks dry with a paper towel before adding to the bowl with spices. This will remove any excess moisture.
- Want crispier chicken? Cook the chicken on a rack that sits on top of the baking sheet. This will allow all juices to drip away from the chicken leaving a crispy skin.
- According to the USDA recommended cooking temperatures, the safest internal temperature for cooking all types of poultry products is 165°F. This is the interior temperature that the meat will read at once removed from the heat source. You can use a food thermometer, which will be poked into the thickest part of the chicken to read the temperature.
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Baked Chicken Legs Recipe Ingredients
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 4 green onions, root ends trimmed, cut into thirds
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp salt , or season as desired
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 10 large chicken drumsticks
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Golden Baked Chicken Drumsticks
This is perhaps one of my favorite baked chicken drumstick recipes since its a winning combination of super-easy and yummy!
Take a Look
This recipe for oven baked chicken drumsticks is as easy as coating the chicken with a mix of spices and olive oil, then baking them for around 40 minutes. And they come out so crispy and juicy!
Any parent knows how much their kids love baked drumsticks. And they also know that if its something the kiddos love, their parents will also end up eating it repeatedly.
But, in this case, you wont mind because this dish rocks socks at any age!
Believe me. I know what its like to get burned out on the same-old dishes night after night. This is why I started mixing things up from time to time and exposing my family to new culinary ideas and concepts.
Its not hard to get started. You dont have to jump off the deep end and start making foods with unfamiliar flavors. You can start with small recipe changes to dishes you already know how to create and gauge your familys reaction.
Over the years, I experimented with different variations to keep baked chicken leg recipes more appetizing for adult pallets. As my kids grew, they also came to appreciate a few variations. Here are just a few:
- Spicy drumsticks
- Honey baked chicken
- Keto fried chicken
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Tips And Tricks For Making The Best Baked Chicken Legs
Here for the right pan: Because these guys are thick and saucy, youll want a sheet pan with high sides to keep all the juices in and large enough so the chicken isnt drowning in the sauce. To get the best caramelized texture, the chicken should stick out of the sauce a bit while cooking.Foil it up: Make sure you carefully line the pan with foil so you avoid a sticky mess during cleanup.Sauce, sauce everywhere: This sauce is so good you may be tempted to bathe in it. Fair warning. I recommend serving the chicken legs with rice and steamed vegetables, and douse those well in the sauce, too. Check the temperature: To make sure the chicken is actually done, use this affordable instant read thermometer. Better safe than sorry!Slow cooker friendly: Hallelujah, this recipe IS slow cooker adaptable. I use a ½ cup of ketchup, honey, and soy sauce instead of the portions in the instructions, and it turns out a little less sticky, but just as flavorful and heavenly.Slow cooker friendly: Hallelujah, this recipe IS slow cooker adaptable. I use a ½ cup of ketchup, honey, and soy sauce instead of the portions in the instructions, and it turns out a little less sticky, but just as flavorful and heavenly.
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