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 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-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.

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)

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.

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…)

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


  • 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)


  • 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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