Baked Chicken Legs are tender, juicy, and perfectly caramelized in delicious homemade honey and lemon marinade! Have perfectly seasoned chicken drumsticks for a quick dinner with just a few basic ingredients!
We love chicken recipes around here as they always turn into great family dinners. On lazy days, this is my go-to recipe! For more simple dinner recipes try my Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin, Baked Buffalo Wings, and Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole.
This Easy Baked Chicken Drumsticks recipe is just as easy to cook as this Oven Baked Chicken Breast. It is a quick and easy recipe to enjoy during busy weeknights. Also, they are delicious and healthier than their fried counterparts. Instead of deep-frying the chicken, we use less oil and quickly roast it in the oven at a higher temperature.
The end result is the same – juicy chicken meat on the inside, with extra crispy skin on the outside. A high temperature is required for the skin to crisp up. But do not worry because the fats in these parts are enough to keep them moist and tender through the cooking process.
In addition, I coat the legs with a bit of lemon juice and honey along with seasonings. This gives them a nice color and a slightly smokey flavor! Just perfect to serve with your favorite side dishes!
Try this inexpensive and simple dinner with minutes of prep time and great flavors!
This easy chicken dinner requires a few simple ingredients. Here is the list:
- Chicken legs or drumsticks (bone-in and skin-on)
- Olive oil: Makes the skin nice and crispy
- Lemon juice and honey: For the marinade coating
- Seasoning: I love using garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper.
- Fresh rosemary and fresh thyme.
How to bake chicken legs?
Please see the video tutorial attached for a quick step-by-step tutorial. But the general steps are the following:
- Prepare the oven: First, preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season: Next, dry the meat using some paper towels. Then, in a small bowl, mix the liquid ingredients and add the poultry. Toss until evenly coated. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and toss again.
- Bake: Transfer the piece into a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and bake them in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown. The meat should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit for food safety. If you find that the skin is not yet crispy, then, you can broil for another minute.
- Serve: Garnish and serve while they are still crispy!
How long to bake Chicken Legs?
The answer depends on how hot the oven is when you bake our bone-in chicken legs. Here is a guide:
- at 400 degrees Fahrenheit: Cooking will be 40 to 45 minutes.
- at 375 degrees Fahrenheit: Cooking will be 45 to 55 minutes.
- at 350 degrees Fahrenheit: Cooking will be 50 to 60 minutes.
Can I substitute chicken legs?
Absolutely! Feel free to use different cuts of chicken. Also, remember to always check the meat’s internal temperature by using an instant-read thermometer. It is safe to consume when it reaches 165 degrees F. Here are the cooking times for various cuts:
- Chicken breasts: bake for 25-30 minutes
- Bone-in, skin-on thighs: bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Tenderloins: bake them for 15-20 minutes.
- Boneless thighs: bake for 20-25 minutes.
Can I make them in the Air Fryer?
Yes! Making Crispy Air Fryer Chicken is easy, and healthy alternative. When cooking in the Air Fryer, you are using very little oil. The hot air circulates and cooks the meat perefectly.
As a result, you are saving a lot of calories, while getting the same crispy skin on the outside, and super juicy inside. Just remember to cook in batches and keep them in a single layer so that the hot air can circulate.
Slow Cooker Version:
- First, place the marinaded chicken legs in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Cover the lid, and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. When it reaches 165 degrees F, it is done.
Instant Pot Drumsticks:
Alternatively, feel free to rotate the menu, and make these delicious Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks. Another great flavor combination with a twist of Asian cuisine.
Should I marinate Chicken drumsticks?
There are confusing answers to this question. Others would recommend marinating them to tenderize the meat. However, some would say that the acid in the marinade toughens the proteins in the meat on the second-hour mark of marinating.
So, what I do is simply toss the ingredients with the mixture and skip the marinating process altogether. Besides, poultry, in general, is easy to season, and marinating longer than about 30 minutes will add no value.
For this recipe, I combine the oil with lemon juice which I find refreshing. However, if you are marinating with an acid like lemon juice, you must add oil to somewhat lessen the toughening effect of the acid on the protein.
What to serve with this dish?
You can pair this dish with other dishes that are rich in fiber or carbs like grains. Here are some suggestions:
How to Store them?
- Refrigerate: First, let leftovers cool at room temperature prior to storing. Then, transfer them to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Once frozen, they can stay good for up to 4 months. Keep them in heavy-duty freezer bags. To reheat, thaw them first overnight in the fridge.
- Reheat. You can easily reheat them in the microwave for a few minutes. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and reheat in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until warm.
More easy Chicken recipes to try:
- Place a sheet of parchment paper or lightly greased aluminum foil on the baking sheet for easy clean-up.
- In using the oven, make sure that the oven temperature setting is correct by using a thermometer.
- Also, to make sure that the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit has been reached, use a meat thermometer. Pierce through the meat with it ensuring that it does not touch the bone for an accurate measurement.
- In addition, feel free to use other seasoning mixes. Go with ranch seasoning, Italian seasoning, chili powder, cayenne pepper, etc.
- Feel free to substitute the honey mixture with BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar mixture, or even ketchup.
Baked Chicken Legs Recipe
- 6 chicken legs (bone-in and skin-on)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh rosemary
- Lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 10x10 baking dish with olive oil and set it aside.
- In a large bowl mix lemon juice, honey, and olive oil. Add chicken legs and toss to combine.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine.
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken reaches 165 degrees F or until golden brown.
- Broil for 1-2 minutes if desired for extra crispy skin.