How To Cook Chicken Legs In The Oven?

The most basic method for cooking chicken legs in the oven is baking them. It takes about 15 minutes to prep the ingredients and 10 minutes to cook. Depending on the thickness and size of the chicken legs, cooking time will vary. For the best flavor, choose dark meat poultry that is bone-in and skin-on. This method also works well with other dark-meat poultry. After you have cooked the chicken legs, you can remove them from the oven and serve them as a side dish.

chicken legs

To make your chicken legs crispy, you can skin them. This will help you to reduce calories and fat. It’s also an excellent way to brown the meat as you bake it. Remember that the chicken skin is slippery, and you’ll need a paper towel to grab it firmly. You’ll want the skin to pull away from the meat, so use your kitchen shears to cut it.

How To Cook Chicken Legs In The Oven?

I set out to prepare the perfect baked chicken legs, and after several attempts, I arrived at the marinade and baking procedure that worked best for me. While the others were tasty, we wanted a more bright flavor from a simple seasoning and a more browned taste and crispy skin from a sweet and sticky Asian marinade baked in a baking dish.

This recipe proves that chicken, lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs are always a winning combination. The best taste enhancers are usually simple, fresh flavors. And, of course, you’ll be pleased with how simple it is! Whizz together a quick sauce in the food processor, marinate the chicken legs and bake till cooked through on a baking pan. Isn’t it simple?

With this recipe, you can serve them crispy-skinned directly out of the oven or baste them with the remaining 1/4 cup sauce at the end. Because it’s a difficult decision for me, I’ll leave it up to you. You could also enjoy the added flavor of that herb sauce (albeit the oils and liquids in it will quickly soften that crispy skin). So, instead of serving the remaining chimichurri sauce with a vegetable side dish, you might serve it with a vegetarian side dish (potatoes or corn are a great option).


  • 1 cup (lightly packed) fresh parsley leaves (about one relatively large bunch)
  • Four green onions, root ends trimmed, cut into thirds
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Three garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to desired heat level)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (plus a few pinches), or season as desired
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Ten large (3.5 lb to 4 lb) chicken drumsticks


  • Add parsley, green onions, oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes to a food processor. Pulse 10 times or so in short bursts until roughly it was 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.

Here Are Some Essential Tips For Making Chicken Legs:

  • After marinating the chicken legs, please place them in a shallow baking pan lined with foil, making clean-up easier. When roasting the chicken, choose a high-sided sheet pan to keep everything in its place and prevent the chicken legs from overcooking.
  • The chicken will caramelize best when the thickest part of the chicken is sticking out. Then, remove the skin using a pair of kitchen shears and enjoy your crispy baked chicken legs!
  • To cook chicken legs in the oven, please place them in a hot 350degF oven for forty to forty-five minutes. To get crispy skin and juicy meat, use kitchen shears to snip off the skin.
  • After roasting the chicken legs, leave them for ten minutes to rest before serving. The legs can be trimmed and seasoned if you want to add extra flavor.
  • You can also use avocado oil or olive oil as a substitute. Then, season the legs with sea salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. To ensure even cooking, brush the legs with melted butter. While the legs cook, flip them every half an hour to ensure a more even cooking time.

Should I Cover My Chicken Legs When Baking?

No, they should not be covered. You want the skin to brown and the chicken to be roasted rather than steamed. As a result, the drumsticks should be left uncovered. We prefer to roast our chickens uncovered to crisp up the skin and develop a nice golden brown color. You can put a piece of foil over the top of the chicken to protect the skin from burning if it becomes too black before it reaches the proper internal temperature.

When cooking heavier foods in a tiny oven, it’s occasionally necessary to lightly cover them with foil as a heat shield. When I do this, I usually use a substantial piece far away from the food because the goal is to avoid trapping moisture. When you bake chicken in foil, the juices are sealed while it steams, keeping your chicken moist and tasty. It contains everything you need for a complete dinner in a single packet: While you can bake the chicken on its own, utilizing foil allows you to create a lovely one-pot supper.

What Temperature Should Chicken Legs Be Cooked At?

Chicken legs should attain an internal temperature of 165 degrees F whether cooked in the oven or any other technique; some prefer 170 degrees F for more soft flesh. In any case, this is the meat thermometer I recommend and use. Roast bone-in chicken legs for 40 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s done.


After trimming the chicken legs, you need to place them in a baking dish with sides. The chicken legs should be placed in the pan, and the sides should be lined with foil. Then, you need to spray the entire pan with olive oil. To roast the chicken legs, you need to coat them with olive oil.

To cook chicken legs in the oven, could you place them in a foil-lined baking pan? The foil will make clean-up more straightforward, and the chicken legs will be done in less time. If you want to make a more complicated recipe, you can add marinade to the chicken and bake it in the oven, making it easier to remove the skin. You can use your favorite spices to season your chicken legs.