Oven-fried drumsticks are proof that some things never go out of style but just take on a somewhat new look now and again.

Although we’d venture to say that some of the drumstick coatings suggested in their recipe seem to reflect the Shake ‘n Bake era, there’s no stopping you from dredging the drumsticks in whatever your whim. That means pretty much anything that crumbles is an option. Just look in the back of your pantry for those rolled-up bags full of crumbs from crackers or cereal or potato chips.

I’ve listed a few additional suggestions below. But don’t let that put crimp your style. Go on. Bring a little playfulness back into a weeknight dinner for the kids (of all ages).

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

Our testers are praising this easy oven-fried chicken drumsticks recipe for being both kid- and adult-friendly, making it a “good family dinner.” They loved experimenting with different coatings and discovering their favorites.

Sofia Reino summed it up with her comment, “This is a fun and simple recipe to be repeated.”

What You’ll Need to Make This

  • Chicken drumsticks–The timing in the recipe is based on using average-size chicken drumsticks, but you can apply this method to any cut of chicken. You’ll need to adjust your cooking time depending on what you use.
  • Coating–There are dozens of topping options for these drumsticks. Anything crispy or crunchy that you’ve got in the pantry, such as chips, crackers, or cornflakes, will work. See our favorite options in the FAQ section below.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with oil or melted butter.
  2. Dry the chicken and remove the skin, if desired. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Place your coating in a resealable bag, close it, and crush the topping to a fine crumb.
  3. Dip the drumsticks in egg and let any excess drip off. Toss the chicken into the coating bag, seal it, and shake it to coat evenly.
  4. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake until cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Common Questions

What types of coatings can I use?

In the spirit of no crumb left behind, we raided our pantry to uncover every crumb we could find. To start the drumsticks rolling, here are just some of the crumbs we’re toying with trying next time we make this recipe.

Potato chips: Any flavor.

Wasabi peas: Yep. Try crushing wasabi-coated peas into oblivion.

Tortilla chips: Yellow, white, or blue corn.

Flavored corn chips: Try any of Doritos’ dozens upon dozens of flavors. Same with Cheetos.

Cornflakes: Or any other unsweetened breakfast cereal.

Panko: Japanese panko, preferably seasoned with sesame seeds or spice or dried herbs.

Day-old, crumbly cornbread: Yes, you can use cornbread with cheese, fresh corn, and crumbled bacon.

Cheese crackers: Know those cheesy fish crackers? You can see where we’re going with this.

Pita chips: Any flavor you fancy or happen to have on hand will work except maybe apple-cinnamon.

Saltines: Everyone’s old standby.

How do I make homemade flavored coatings?

If you’d like to boost the flavor of your crunchy coating, the authors of the Everyday Cookbook have the following suggestions:

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 of chili powder and ground cumin.

Krispie Ranch: 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal, 1 envelope ranch dressing mix.

Peppery Cheese: 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.

Can I make these with chicken tenders?

Yes. You can use this method with any cut of chicken. However, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.

For chicken tenders, plan on baking them for 15 to 20 minutes. Take care not to overcook your chicken or it will become dry.

Helpful Tips

  • Save yourself an extra bag and crush your chips or crackers directly in their bag. Plop the chicken pieces in there and shake to coat.
  • These are best served immediately after baking. That’s when they’re most crispy. If you have leftovers, reheat them in a 350°F oven until warmed through. Be aware, though. They won’t be crunchy.
  • This recipe is suitable for a dairy-free diet if made with oil and is also suitable for a gluten-free diet if made with a gluten-free coating, such as rice crackers.

More Great Chicken Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Seven oven fried drumsticks with different coatings on a white background.

Oven Fried Drumsticks

5 / 5 votes
These oven fried drumsticks can be coated in bread crumbs or panko, sure. But let’s not forget crushed potato chips, cheese crackers, tortilla chips, crushed wasabi peas, saltines, corn flakes, or just about anything.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories284 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


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


  • 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.
  • Pat the chicken dry. If desired, remove the skin from the chicken by grasping the skin with a paper towel and yanking.
  • Grab a fork or a whisk and lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl.
  • Place your 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  1. Use your packaging–Save yourself an extra bag and crush your chips or crackers directly in their bag. Plop the chicken pieces in there and shake to coat.
  2. Reheating–These are best served immediately after making. The crust won’t be as crispy if you reheat them, but for best results, if you have leftovers, reheat them in a 350°F oven until heated through.
  3. Dietary–This recipe is suitable for a dairy-free diet if made with oil and is also suitable for a gluten-free diet if made with a gluten-free coating, such as rice crackers.
The Woman's Day Everyday Cookbook

Adapted From

The Woman’s Day Everyday Cookbook

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 2 drumsticksCalories: 284 kcalCarbohydrates: 6 gProtein: 29 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 186 mgSodium: 226 mgFiber: 0.2 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Woman’s Day. Photo © 2011 Jim Franco. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

When I was growing up, my mom often baked chicken drumsticks using a similar method. She’d 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.

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.

My 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 made 12 drumsticks instead of eight and used two 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.

These oven fried drumsticks were so good. We all loved them.

I made a panko-crusted chicken breast for my husband, because he prefers 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’ll 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- as well as adult-friendly.

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.

I took some liberties with these oven fried chicken drumsticks. 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 recipe) 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.

I had so much fun trying new coatings for this oven baked chicken! This basic recipe was the door to endless flavor options. First, we tried potato-chip chicken using small bags of bbq, plain, and Cheddar sour cream chips.

We found it was best to crush the chips in the bag they come in and then drop the egg coated chicken into the bag to cover with crushed chips. The chips get a little soggy from the egg so the larger boneless tenders and bone in pieces worked best in order to have a crunchy coating (longer cooking time).

Next I got more creative and made 2 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.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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    1. Michelle, we haven’t tested these in an air fryer, so we can’t confirm if it would work or not. I suspect it would, but it would take some experimenting with the best coating and timing. If you try it, do let us know how they turn out.