Oven-Fried Drumsticks Recipe

These oven-fried drumsticks are the best. They’re healthy, easy, and eminently versatile, whether you use bread crumbs, cornflakes, panko, or whatever happens to be languishing in your pantry.

Crunchy Oven-Fried Drumsticks Recipe

We ‘fess up. Oven-fried drumsticks aren’t exactly new. Our moms made them for us when we were kids. Yet they still seem just as nifty and novel as they did decades ago, which is when crumb-coated oven-baked drumsticks first began to make the rounds among American housewives. Woman’s Day smartly resurrected this tradition of oven fried-chicken in their recent cookbook, a compilation of timeless supper solutions. We’d venture to say that some of the drumstick coatings they suggest seem to reflect the recipe’s earliest era, which we’d guess is somewhere around when Shake ‘n Bake came to be. But there’s no stopping you from dredging the drumsticks in whatever your whim. Pretty much anything that crumbles is an option. Just look in the back of your pantry for wadded up bags of cracker and cereal and pretzel crumbs. I distinctly recall from my childhood that potato chip crumbs adhere pretty darn well to drumsticks rolled in melted butter. So go on. Bring a little playfulness back into weeknight suppers. This recipe has been updated. Originally published September 7, 2011.Renee Schettler Rossi

No Crumb Left Behind

Another lesson that never goes out of style? Sharing. So let’s not be selfish and keep your pantry-inspired genius to yourselves, not when you can share it with the rest of us in a comment below. Here, just to start the drumstick rolling, a few crumbs we’re toying with trying…

Potato-y
Potato chips. Any flavor. Crushed. (Who are we kidding? Just rip open a new bag and nosh on the nice, new, perfect chips while you rolling your drumsticks in the sad little crumbs found at the bottom of the bag. Heh heh.)

Wasabi-y
Wasabi-coated peas crushed into oblivion.

Tortilla Chip-y
No, we’re not suggesting any of Doritos’ dozens upon dozens of flavors. We mean tortilla chips. You know, the real deal, the kind that comes in yellow corn, white corn, or blue corn…ooh, we’re curious to try the blue corn chips!

Corn Flake-y
Crushed, natch. Minus the milk.

Panko-y
Japanese panko seasoned with sesame seeds or spice or dried herbs

Corn Bread-y
Day-old corn bread (yes, you can even use cornbread with cheese, fresh corn, and crumbled bacon)

Cheese-y
Know those cheesy fish crackers? Uh huh. You can see where we’re going with this…especially if you have some homemade cheesy fish crackers on hand.

Gluten-Free-y
Hey, how about those zesty little rice crackers that come in all those funky shapes?

Pita Chip-y
Finally, a proper use for pita chips! (Any flavor you fancy or happen to have on hand…except maybe apple-cinnamon…)

Saltine-y
Well, why not? (Wait, does anyone ever eat saltines any more? Or are they reserved only for those days when you need some flat ginger ale and something really really bland?)

Crunchy Oven-Fried Drumsticks Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 50 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Mild olive or vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 large egg
  • Any Crazy Crunchy Coating (see suggestions below and above)

Directions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a shallow roasting pan or a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat the foil with oil or melted butter.
  • 2. Pat the chicken dry. If desired, remove the skin from the chicken by grasping the skin with a paper towel and yanking.
  • 3. Grab a fork or a whisk and lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl.
  • 4. Place the desired Crazy Crunchy Coating in a resealable plastic food bag. If using anything that’s not already smashed into smithereens, close the bag and gently crush the contents into fine crumbs with a rolling pin, the bottom of a heavy skillet, or even a wine bottle.
  • 5. Working with one or two drumsticks at a time, first dip them in the egg, then allow any excess to drop off before placing the drumsticks in the bag of Crazy Crunchy Coating. Shake to coat the chicken evenly.
  • 6. Place the drumsticks on the prepared pan and lightly coat the drumsticks with oil or melted butter. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve right away.

Woman's Day Crazy Crunchy Coatings

  • Italian: 1 cup wheat germ, 1/3 cup grated parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
    Honey-mustard: 3 cups honey-mustard pretzel pieces, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    Mexican: 3 cups tortilla chips, 2 teaspoons each chili powder and ground cumin
    Krispie ranch: 1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal, 1 envelope ranch dressing mix
    Cheesy: 3 cups cheese crackers (goldfish-shaped are fine), 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    Herb: 1 1/2 cups herb stuffing mix
    Onion: 3 cups French fried onion rings
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Mackenzie Campbell

Sep 07, 2011

I had so much fun trying new coatings for this oven-fried chicken. The basic recipe was the gateway to endless flavor options. First we tried potato chip chicken using small bags of BBQ, plain, and Cheddar and sour cream chips. We found it was best to crush the chips in the bag they came in and then drop the egg-coated chicken into the bag with the crushed chips and toss to coat. The chips get a little soggy from the egg, so larger boneless tenders and bone-in pieces of chicken work best for a crunchy coating due to the longer cooking time.

Next, I got more creative and made two versions that we loved. First, I mixed shredded Italian cheeses, crushed seasoned bread crumbs, and basil to coat the chicken. I drizzled minced roasted garlic butter over the chicken and baked—very good. My final attempt was tonight. I coated the chicken with a mixture of chopped bacon, shredded cheese, and panko. I drizzled homemade honey mustard dressing and baked—we all loved this, too. We didn't try it yet, but I had the idea to try a play on chicken and waffles—maybe using a maple-flavored cereal? It was great to play a little and bring the fun back to weeknight dinners. Thanks.

Testers Choice
Joan Osborne

Sep 07, 2011

When I was growing up, my mom often baked chicken using a similar method. She would let my sister and me help by dipping the chicken pieces into melted butter, rolling them in crushed saltine cracker crumbs, and baking them in the oven. We loved the dish, and I’d almost forgotten about it until I saw this recipe. I also made it a few times when my kids were younger, coating it with BBQ-flavored potato chips. I had my daughter and son-in-law help me think up things we could coat the chicken in.

Unfortunately, hubby doesn’t eat chicken, so I waited until my daughter and her husband could come over to help with my exciting experiment. We decided to try three ways. My daughter and I love wasabi peas, so we knew we’d have to try that, and we both agreed it was our favorite of the night. Son-in-law’s favorite was a mixture of Ritz wheat crackers and bacon bits. I didn’t try that one since I’d gotten full on the other two kinds, but he devoured three of them and kept giving me two thumbs up. The third thing we came up with was my daughter's idea—corn nuts. We used the Ranch-flavored ones. It was good but not as good as the wasabi peas. I just found out that corn nuts come in a chorizo chipotle flavor, so I’ll be looking for those to try next time. I did 12 drumsticks instead of 8 and used 2 beaten eggs for dipping. I used butter-flavored cooking spray, but next time I may just try melted butter. I decided to leave the skin on and was rewarded with nice crunchy skin. We had some leftovers, and I can’t wait to try them and give some to my son when he gets home. We’ll be looking for more things to try next time.

Testers Choice
Raye Tiedmann

Sep 07, 2011

This was so good. We all loved it. I made a panko bread crumb-crusted chicken breast for my husband, because he prefers the white meat, and the rest of us had drumsticks. I dipped two of the drumsticks in panko and the rest in cornflakes. The chicken turned really crusty and brown, especially the pieces with the cornflakes. I put the cornflakes in the food processor to make the crumbs. I seasoned them with a Moroccan tan-tan seasoning. I will make this again. I put the crumbs in plastic bags and put the chicken on parchment paper sprayed with Pam, so cleanup was easy. This is a good family dinner—kid-friendly as well as adult-friendly.

Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

Sep 07, 2011

We love chicken drumsticks. As we had a chance to experiment, here's what I came up with: a mixture of 1 cup wasabi peas, 1 cup walnuts, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 teaspoon onion salt, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. The oven temperature and timing were absolutely perfect. We served this to a whole group of friends for a wine and cheese dinner we hosted. To my surprise, everyone absolutely loved them. They were nice and crunchy (we left the skin on) and amazingly juicy inside. I was expecting them to be pretty spicy due to the wasabi peas, but instead they had just enough of a kick to them and didn't scare those afraid of spicy food. This is a fun and simple recipe to be repeated.

Testers Choice
Tamiko Lagerwaard

Sep 07, 2011

I took some liberties with this recipe. First, I used drumettes instead of drumsticks. I then coated them with egg and sea salt rice chips that I'd blitzed in the food processor. I baked this for about 25 minutes. I tossed the drumettes in leftover homemade Japanese-style sauce (from the Grilled Chicken Yakitori) and coated them with sesame seeds. I baked the chicken about 15 minutes longer, and it all worked out quite nicely. Great little finger food adaptation to the larger drumstick meal.

Comments
Comments
  1. Ellen says:

    I use matza meal, which I always have and don’t use that much, mixed with salt and pepper and whatever other spices I feel like.

  2. Kristen says:

    I love all the variations for this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing. Adding it to my “must try” list!

    • David Leite says:

      Kristen, de nada. Please let us know which variations you try, and how they turned out.

      • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

        Yup, I second David’s request for your variations. And feel free to toss out a few new ones, we’re always curious to try something else….

  3. 4virtu says:

    Happy Tasty Tuesday! We love these ideas and they are featured on our 12 Days of Christmas Recipe round-up as Day 8 (Eight Drummers Drumming). Thanks for sharing

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      4virtu, we’re honored, thank you! (And very clever, the “drummers drumming” thing!)

  4. christina says:

    Absolutely love oven fried chicken! I leave the skin on and start with a light coating of flour and then a dip in egg that I mix with mustard. For the coating I use Doritos Cool Ranch or French’s French Fried Onions or sometimes I mix the two together. It’s really good. The initial flouring makes for an even crunchier skin. It’s delicious :)

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