Among the most popular ways to cook chicken is to bake them. Chicken legs are juicy, tender, and full of flavor. Here’s how to bake chicken legs for a delicious meal. To reduce fat and calories, you can remove the skin from chicken legs. This process takes about 30 minutes. Use a paper towel to grip the legs during this process, as the skin can be slippery. You can also use kitchen shears to remove the skin. Once you’ve removed the skin, you can carefully remove the chicken legs from the pan. Once they’re fully cooked, remove the pan from the oven.
Baking chicken legs is to brush them with melted butter or olive oil. You can also use a little avocado oil. Then, season the chicken with herbs, garlic powder, and sea salt. Mix well to coat the chicken. Bake the legs for about 10 minutes. Flipping the legs halfway through the cooking process will allow the meat to finish evenly. A few minutes before serving, they are ready to serve.
It’s that easy! Dry the drumsticks thoroughly to get a nice crispy skin on the baked chicken legs. Place them on a baking rack that allows air to circulate underneath them. You can also brush them with the remaining half cup of chimichurri herb mixture to cook the drumsticks, and this will add a nice flavor to your chicken legs. After preparing the drumsticks, you can serve the drumsticks with roasted vegetables and other dishes after preparing them.
How to Bake Chicken Legs?
- Fresh parsley leaves, 1 cup (lightly packed) (about one fairly large bunch)
- Four green onions, sliced into thirds after root ends have been clipped
- 2 tbsp oregano (dried)
- Peeled and crushed three garlic cloves
- Olive oil (1/2 cup)
- red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon) (adjust to desired heat level)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (plus a few pinches)
- 1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
- Ten chicken drumsticks (3.5 to 4 lbs) (bone-in skin-on)
- Add parsley, green onions, oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes to a food processor. Pulse 10 times or so in short bursts until roughly chopped.
- Pour in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice and process for 5 to 10 seconds, or until the herbs are finely minced and the liquids blend (stop and scrape down processor if needed).
- 1/4 cup of the herb combination should be scooped into a bowl and seasoned with a few salt pinches. Cover and store in the refrigerator
- .Season the leftover herb combination with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (you should have about 3/4 cup).
- Fill a gallon resealable bag halfway with chicken legs. Over the chicken legs, pour 3/4 cup of the herb mixture. Seal the bag while pressing out the air, then massage the marinade evenly over the chicken legs.
Place in the fridge for 1 hour or 24 hours to marinate.
- Raise the oven rack one level above the middle. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Using nonstick cooking spray, coat a rimmed 18 by the 13-inch baking sheet (preferably use a dark coated baking sheet).
- Roast legs for 25 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove the legs from the oven and turn them to the opposing side.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center is 165 degrees in the thickest area.
- During the baking process, if the legs aren’t quite brown enough, broil them for the last few minutes. You can loosely tent them with foil near the end if they are over-browning.
- Serve as-is for crispy skin, or brush with the remaining 1/4 cup chimichurri herb mixture (not the chicken marinated in!) for added flavor. If you don’t use the remaining 1/4 cup, serve it with roasted red potatoes or corn as a vegetable side.
Helpful Tips for the Best Baked Chicken Legs
- Ensure the marinade is well-seasoned with salt; we’ll be using many pounds so that plenty will be. There won’t be much of the sauce leftover.
If you have a dark baking sheet, use it to encourage browning. Roast one level higher than the middle.
- Still, because every oven is a bit different, broil them for a few minutes, keeping a close eye on them if they haven’t browned to your liking by the end.
- To acquire more meat, I recommend using more enormous chicken drumsticks. Using larger ones will also allow for extra baking and browning time.
- Hold the remaining marinade if you want crispy skin; if you want even more taste, use the additional marinade (not the marinade from the bag, which can make you sick!).
- To make sure the legs are cooked through, check the temperature in the center near the thickest portion’s bone.
- To make cleanup easier, soak the pan with water.
What Are the Cooking Temperature and Time for Baked Chicken Legs?
Most of our recipes call for baking chicken legs or quarters at 375°F (190°C), but you can change the temperature as long as the cooking time remains the same. You can simultaneously cook additional meals with varied baking temperature requirements by adjusting the cooking temperatures.
Here’s a simple reference to recommended cooking times based on temperature, but if feasible, use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is entirely done. When thoroughly cooked, chicken thighs and legs should have an internal temperature of 175°F.
- Oven temperature at 350°F: Bake chicken uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes
- Oven temperature at 375°F: Bake chicken uncovered for 45 to 55 minutes
- Oven temperature at 400°F: Bake chicken uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes
- Oven temperature at 425°F: Bake chicken uncovered for 25 to 35 minutes
- Oven temperature at 450°F: Bake chicken uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes
What Are Chicken Leg Quarters?
A whole chicken leg, strictly speaking, is made up of a thigh and a drumstick in one piece. A complete chicken leg is pictured above, often known as a thigh-drumstick piece. Chicken leg quarters are thigh-drumstick pieces with a part of the back connected to them.
Thigh-drumstick pieces and chicken leg quarters can be used interchangeably; however, because chicken pieces vary in size, ensure that whichever cut you select is cooked to a safe internal temperature of 175°F. (While chicken is technically safe to consume at 165°F, our Test Kitchen discovered that these dark meats have better texture and flavor when cooked to 175°F.) The drumstick and the thigh are frequently detached from thigh-drumstick parts, and the distinct drumstick section of the chicken is sometimes referred to as a chicken leg.
Are Chicken Legs Healthy to Eat?
Chicken is a staple in many diets — according to the University of South Florida, the average American consumes 90 pounds of chicken per year — and the rich dark meat of chicken legs works well in several cuisines. Chicken legs are also suitable for you since they provide minerals and vitamins your cells need to function. To reduce your saturated fat intake, remove the skin and fat from chicken legs before cooking.
Protein and Fat
Chicken legs have considerable calories: a skinless chicken thigh has 176 calories, while a drumstick with the skin removed has 106 calories. Both slices of the chicken leg are high in protein, which is necessary for tissue repair and muscular building.
Each drumstick and thigh contain 17 and 28 grams of protein, respectively, and this helps you meet your daily protein requirements of 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. Fat is also present in chicken legs, with 3.7 grams per drumstick and 6.2 grams per thigh. This fat gives energy and aids in vitamin absorption, allowing you to live a healthier lifestyle.
Chicken legs include considerable selenium and phosphorus, boosting your mineral intake. Selenium is a component of various enzymes in your cells, and its role in enzyme activity helps your thyroid gland function while also protecting your blood vessels from harm. Phosphorus is also a component of cell membranes and DNA, and it helps control enzyme activity.
A chicken thigh has 30.9 micrograms of selenium, 56 percent of your daily selenium need, and 265 milligrams of phosphorus, 39 percent of the recommended daily consumption. Each chicken drumstick has 18.5 micrograms of selenium and 158 milligrams of phosphorus, 34% and 23% of your daily selenium and phosphorus requirements.
Because of their nutritional content, chicken legs also have some advantages. They provide enough vitamin B-12, vital for nerve cell health and gene activity regulation, and pantothenic acid, promoting healthy cell metabolism.
Each chicken thigh has 0.84 micrograms of vitamin B-12, which is 35% of your daily B-12 requirement, and 1.7 milligrams of pantothenic acid, 34% of your daily requirement. B-12 and pantothenic acid are slightly lower in chicken drumsticks, with 0.5 micrograms of B-12 and 1.03 milligrams of pantothenic acid. This accounts for 21% of your necessary daily B-12 and pantothenic acid intake.
How Long to Bake Chicken Legs?
400-degree oven-baked chicken drumsticks take about 35 to 45 minutes, depending on their size. Here’s the how-to for this recipe: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees by moving the rack up one level from the middle. Using nonstick cooking spray, coat a rimmed 18 by the 13-inch baking sheet (preferably use a dark coated baking sheet).
Drumsticks should be baked for 25 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove the drumsticks from the oven and flip them to the other side. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center is 165 degrees in the thickest area. During the baking process, if the legs aren’t quite brown enough, broil them for the last few minutes. You can loosely tent them with foil near the end if they are over-browning.
Serve as-is for crispy skin, or brush with the remaining 1/4 cup chimichurri herb mixture (not the chicken marinated in!) for added flavor. If you don’t use the remaining 1/4 cup, serve it with roasted red potatoes or corn as a vegetable side.
While chicken breasts get all attention, chicken legs are delicious and versatile. Many chicken lovers find them the most delicious part of the bird. They are moist and meaty, and many consider them the most flavorful. To ensure that your chicken is cooked correctly, use a thermometer. The internal temperature of your chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If your meat is too rare, discard it and replace it with a fresh one.
The next step in baking chicken legs is to rinse them thoroughly and pat them dry with paper towels. And this will remove any moisture on the chicken legs, which will make them more crispy. To prepare the drumsticks for baking, you should preheat your oven to 350 degrees F or 425 degrees F. In either case, sprinkle the drumsticks with the seasoning mix and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes more to reach the required minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.