This is perhaps one of my favorite baked chicken drumstick recipes since it’s a winning combination of super-easy and yummy!
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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 it’s something the kiddos love, their parents will also end up eating it repeatedly.
But, in this case, you won’t mind because this dish rocks socks at any age!
Believe me. I know what it’s 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.
It’s not hard to get started. You don’t 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 family’s reaction.
By slowly introducing them to know flavors and spices, you’re also broadening their pallets, turning them into secret foodies without them knowing!
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
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Jerk chicken
- Buffalo Chicken
- Honey baked chicken
- Keto fried chicken
But most of the time, when I stare at chicken drumsticks in the fridge, they end up in the oven. And I don’t use special marinade or sauce, just a bit of olive oil and a few spices. Then, after baking for 40 minutes, I have meaty sticks of golden perfection. Trust me. It’s one of the best baked chicken drum stick recipes ever tasted!
To make this tasty and simple chicken recipe. You only need a few ingredients. You can find the exact ingredient measurements in the recipe card located below. Here’s an overview of the ingredients you’ll need.
Chicken drumsticks: I used eight drumsticks that weighed around 4 ounces for this recipe. I did not bother removing the skin – it’s the best part! If you purchase drumsticks in five packages, you can easily make ten with this recipe. You’ll only need to increase your olive oil by about a half tablespoon.
Black pepper and kosher salt: If you’re using fine slat, reduce how much you use, or it may make drumsticks taste too salty.
Spices: Onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika. The cayenne livens up the flavor in this dish, adding a hint of spice but not overwhelming the other flavors. However, if spicy foods aren’t your thing, try adding ⅛ instead. You can also add a bit of brown sugar for sweetness.
Olive oil: This is one of my favorite cooking oils. But, if you prefer cooking oil with a higher smoke point, you can substitute olive oil for melted butter.
Baking chicken drumsticks in oven is super-easy! You can also scroll down and view the recipe card for more detailed instructions. But here are the simple steps:
- First, preheat the oven to 400°F before lining your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Next, you’ll mix your oil and spices to form a paste. Arrange your drumsticks into a single layer on your baking sheet, then coat them on all sides with your paste. You may also use a pastry brush or cover them by hand.
- Finally, all left is to throw your drumsticks in the oven until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. This process generally takes around 40 minutes for medium-sized drumsticks.
Be sure to peek at your drumsticks after about 30 minutes. If they seem to be darkening on top too quickly, you can loosely cover them up with foil and allow them to cook until they finish cooking all the way through.
Should you cover the drumsticks when in the oven?
Covering them up is unnecessary because you want their skin to turn brown and the baked chicken legs to be thoroughly roasted instead of steamed. Once again, it would be best if you didn’t cover your drumsticks.
Now, I would only cover drumsticks in the oven when I’m using a unique reheating technique (more on that below).
Is it possible to overcook drumsticks?
Sadly, it is possible to overcook your drumsticks, which is why watching them is essential. They should be thoroughly cooked after around 40 minutes. However, if your oven tends to run hot, they could be finished sooner.
How do you tell when chicken is ready?
It’s essential to ensure chicken is always fully cooked. You can check the internal temperature of a few drumsticks to see if they reach at least 165°F. Also, insure your meat thermometer isn’t touching the bone when taking a reading.
Side Dish Suggestions
With crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks like this, your can throw them with just about anything. However, since I baked these in a 400°F oven, I often like to serve them with something I also baked in the same range. Here are a few suggestions:
- Roasted asparagus
- Cauliflower tots
- Roasted vegetables
- Baked shiitake mushrooms
- Roasted cabbage
- Loaded mashed cauliflower
- Roasted frozen cauliflower
- Keto pesto squash and zucchini noodles
- Herb red potato salad
- Lemon Brussels sprouts salad
- Nutty asparagus and green beans with bacon
- Sautéed spinach with garlic
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Asparagus with eggs mimosa
- Garlic green beans
- Cauliflower popcorn
- Brussels sprouts and bacon
- Sautéed crispy zucchini
- Wilted kale salad
Storing Your Leftovers
You can store your leftover drumsticks in the fridge inside an airtight container. They’ll keep for about 3-4 days, and you can gently reheat them inside a microwave using 50 percent power.
Or if you have an air fryer, even better. Set the temperature at about 400°F and set your timer for about 4-6 minutes, depending on how crispy you want your skin. But, be careful using this method as an air fryer can quickly dry out your chicken. I also brush them with olive oil before air frying my easy baked chicken drumsticks to help them stay moist.
I’ve also frozen cooked chicken legs for a quick meal as well. They usually last in a deep freezer for about three or four months. I typically reheat frozen chicken drumsticks in my air fryer or oven. I’ve found heating them in the preheated oven at 400°F for 10 minutes in a foil-covered pan with about a half cup of chicken broth helps bring back some of their juiciness.
Or you can also do what I like to do, and eat them cold! I will sometimes remove the crispy skin before cutting them into chunks to use in my favorite chicken cobb salad. I also enjoy making a cold plate with cauliflower potato salad, pickles, and cold drumsticks.
Golden Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- 8 4-ounce chicken drumsticks (skin on) total weight of around 2 pounds.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tsp Kosher salt
- ½ Tsp black pepper
- 1 Tsp onion powder
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tsp black smoked paprika
- ¼ Tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ Tsp Brown Sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using high-heat-resistant parchment paper, line your rimmed baking sheet, then arrange your drumsticks in one layer on your sheet.
- Create your seasoning paste: Using a medium-sized bowl, use your spatula or fork to mix the pepper, salt, olive oil, and spices.
- Take a pastry brush or, using your hands, coat the drumsticks with your seasoning paste.
- Leaving your drumsticks uncovered, bake your chicken until they reach 165°F after about 40 minutes.
- Brush your drumsticks with their pan juices using a clean pastry brush. Serve right away.
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