Oven-Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Oven-fried chicken drumsticks on a white plate

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 20 to 24 drumsticks
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
657 Calories
37g Fat
7g Carbs
69g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 657
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 48%
Saturated Fat 14g 71%
Cholesterol 392mg 131%
Sodium 1032mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 69g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 783mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


Click Play to See These Oven-Fried Chicken Drumsticks Come Together

"I'll probably never deep-fry chicken legs again, because this technique is so easy. "Frying" the chicken in the oven results in chicken that's every bit as crispy and flavorful as if it were deep-fried. I also like that you don't have to fry in batches, so it's a time-saver, too." —Jess Kapadia

Oven-fried chicken drumsticks on a white towel
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 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 gathered for oven-fried chicken

    ​The Spruce Eats / 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 Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a food storage bag, combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, curry powder, and poultry seasoning.

    Flour and seasonings combined in a bag for chicken drumstick dredging

    ​The Spruce Eats / 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 Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Coat the chicken with the seasoned flour mixture, shaking about three legs at a time in the bag.

    Chicken drumsticks in the bag of seasoned flour

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Place the chicken in the melted butter in the prepared pans.

    Chicken drumsticks in melted butter on the foil-lined pan

    ​The Spruce Eats / 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. Serve and enjoy.

    Chicken drumsticks on a white plate nicely browned after baking

    ​The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • 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.

How to Tell When Chicken Is Done

Visual cues, such as looking for meat that is no longer pink and "until the juices run clear," are unreliable ways to know when chicken is properly cooked. Instead, use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the chicken's internal temperature before removing it from the oven. According to the USDA, the safe minimum temperature for chicken is 165 F/74 C. While that applies to all chicken, it's actually best to cook dark meat (thighs and drumsticks, collectively the leg) to 175 F to 180 F because this softens the connective tissue.

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.

How Do You Make Baked Chicken Skin Crispy?

Baking chicken drumsticks uncovered at high heat (as in this recipe) will ensure the skin is nice and crispy. Flipping the chicken mid-bake also prevents one side from getting crisper than the other.

Can You Overcook Chicken Drumsticks?

Drumsticks have more fat than the white meat parts of the chicken, such as the breasts. That makes it easier to avoid overcooking drumsticks and result in moist, flavorful meat.