Oven-Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Oven-fried chicken drumsticks on a plate

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

Fried chicken is often a family favorite but can be an involved and messy process. These oven-fried drumsticks simplify the method without sacrificing flavor. They're ready in about an hour and come out of the oven just as crispy and juicy.

The flour is seasoned with paprika and poultry seasoning, along with a little curry powder for an interesting twist. The chicken is coated with the seasoned flour, placed on a baking sheet with melted butter, and then cooked to crispy perfection in a hot oven. The recipe works with chicken thighs (on the bone) and whole chicken legs (hindquarters), too.

Bake these drumsticks for an easy and inexpensive weeknight meal. Serve them with macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes, or any of your favorite veggie sides. They are also great cold or at room temperature, and the recipe is easily scaled up or down.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 20 to 24 chicken drumsticks

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for oven-fried chicken
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Heat the oven to 450 F/230 C. Line two 9x13x2-inch baking pans with heavy-duty foil.

    Foil lined pan
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. In a food storage bag, combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, curry powder, and poultry seasoning.

    Seasoning in bag
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Cut the butter into pieces and place half (1/4 cup) in each foil-lined pan. Put the pans in the oven to melt butter. (Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.)

    Melted butter in a foil-lined pan
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Coat the chicken with the seasoned flour mixture, shaking about three legs at a time in the bag.

    Coating the chicken in seasoned flour
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Place the chicken in the melted butter in the prepared pans.

    Chicken drumsticks are placed on the melted butter in the foil-lined pan
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Bake the drumsticks for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until tender and nicely browned.

    Chicken drumsticks nicely browned after baking
    ​The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • Have the seasoned flour mixture and chicken ready to go before putting the baking pan with the butter in the oven so you can watch the butter carefully to be sure it doesn't burn.
  • Unsalted butter is the best choice because it does not burn as easily at high temperatures. If you use salted butter, the kitchen may become smoky.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken before removing it from the oven. According to the USDA, the safe minimum temperature for chicken is 165 F/74 C.

Recipe Variations

  • Give the chicken a little Cajun zing by replacing the curry powder and poultry seasoning with 2 1/2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning. Reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon unless the seasoning is salt free.
  • Use a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or garlic powder if you don't have curry powder.