Discover the joy of easy baked chicken legs with this family-friendly recipe. Enjoy juicy, flavorful drumsticks ready for the oven in 5 minutes or less!
This easy Baked Chicken Legs recipe is incredibly simple, quick to prepare, and absolutely delicious. It’s a hit with the kids—affectionately called “chicken on the bone” in our home. It offers a burst of flavor in every bite! This juicy baked drumsticks recipe is on repeat at our home because all the kids love them because there juicy, tender and flavor-packed.
With simple ingredients and easy prep, these baked chicken legs can be ready for the oven in 5 minutes or less. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chicken legs
- Olive oil or avocado oil
- Sea salt
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper or Sriracha—optional for some extra spicy
- Spice it up by adding cayenne or Sriracha, or opt for a milder taste without.
- Prefer more seasoning? Pull back the skin, season, and then pull it back over!
- Paste or dry rub? Mix the oil with the spices to create a flavorful paste or just coat the drumsticks with oil and then sprinkle the spices on top. Both will taste delicious so it really comes down to your personal preference.
Baked Chicken Legs Instructions
This recipe is simple and straight forward. If you follow these easy steps you will have juicy baked chicken legs hot on the table in about 45 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack on it. The aluminum foil will catch any drippings and make for easy clean up.
- Blend the dry spices together in a small bowl.
- Pat the chicken legs dry and coat them with oil.
- Season the drumsticks evenly with the spice mix. You will use it all… no leftover dry rub.
- Alternatively, if you choose to add sriracha I would recommend mixing all the spices and oil a bowl to form a paste then baste the chicken legs before baking. This will help evenly distribute the sriracha.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Avoid touching the bone when temping as it may be hotter than the actual meat.
- Let rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Baked Chicken Legs: FAQs
How do I know when the chicken legs are done?
Chicken legs are considered fully cooked and safe to eat when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). To check this, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg, avoiding the bone, as it can give an inaccurate reading. The juices should also run clear when pierced with a fork. This ensures that any harmful bacteria have been killed, and the meat is properly cooked, making it juicy and tender, while avoiding overcooking which can lead to a dry texture.
Should I cook chicken legs covered?
In the context of this recipe, it is recommended to cook the chicken legs uncovered. Cooking uncovered allows the heat to circulate evenly around the chicken and will help roast the chicken legs. This will provide a more crispy and golden-brown skin, enhancing both the texture and flavor of the baked chicken legs. Covering them might trap steam inside, leading to softer, less crisp skin. If, however, you find the chicken is browning too quickly while baking, you can loosely cover it with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
Can I grill this recipe?
Yes, absolutely! Check out my grilled version of the recipe with my Grilled Chicken Legs Recipe. Grilling especially in the warmer months is a great option to eliminate the use of your oven which can heat up the house.
How do I make this recipe spicy?
If you love spicy food, you can easily turn up the heat in this recipe. Add cayenne pepper or Sriracha to the spice mix before applying it to the chicken legs. The amount can be adjusted according to your heat preference. Cayenne pepper provides a sharp, penetrating heat, while Sriracha offers a garlicky, flavorful kick. Remember to start with a smaller amount and add more if needed, as it’s easier to increase the heat than to try to temper it once added. Enjoy the fiery delight!
Pair These With Your Baked Chicken Legs?
Baked Chicken Legs Recipe Card
Thank you for stopping by to explore this delightful Easy Baked Chicken Legs recipe! It’s bound to bring smiles and satisfied appetites to your dinner table. For the full details and quantities, please refer to the recipe card below. Enjoy the flavorful journey!
- 4-4 1/2 pounds chicken legs, about 12-14 drumsticks
- 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 2 teaspoons sriracha, optional for spiciness
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and a cooling rack. The aluminum foil will make for easy cleanup.
- In a small bowl, blend the dry spices together. See notes if using Sriracha.
- Using a paper towel, remove any extra moisture on the drumsticks.
- Coat the drumsticks with the oil then cover both sides with the dry seasoning mix. You should have no seasoning left.
- Bake the seasoned drumsticks at 400°F for 40-45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F being sure NOT to touch the bone when temping.
- Once done, let rest for 5 minutes then enjoy.
- If using Sriracha, blend all ingredients together including the oil to create a paste. Spoon or baste the paste onto the chicken legs. Bake according to the recipe.
- If you don't like eating the skin of the chicken drumsticks, feel free to peel back the skin and season directly on the chicken then pull the skin back over the seasoned chicken.
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Recipe adapted from Healthy Recipes.