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.
Oven fried drumsticks. Proof that some things never go out of style but just take on a somewhat newish look now and again. This easy weeknight recipe still inspires kids to shout LOUDLY about these being the best chicken dinner EVER. Just the way kids did decades ago when crumb-coated oven-baked drumsticks first began to make the rounds in American kitchens. Woman’s Day smartly resurrected this tradition in their recent cookbook. 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. Which means pretty much anything that crumbles is an option. Just look in the back of your pantry for for those rolled up bags filled 1/16 full of crumbs from crackers or cereal or potato chips. We’ve listed a few additional suggestions for you just below. But don’t let us put a crimp in your creativity. Go on. Bring a little playfulness back into weeknight dinner for the kids (of all ages).–Renee Schettler Rossi
What To Use To Coat Chicken Drumsticks?
In the spirit of no crumb left behind, we raided our pantry to uncover every crumb we could find. Below, just to start the drumsticks rolling, are just some of the crumbs we’re toying with trying next time we make this recipe. Simply toss the ingredient in a resealable plastic bag, press out as much of the air as possible, and start banging on it with a rolling pin or a heavy skillet to work out some of that workday frustration. If you’ve got some crumb-inspired genius that isn’t found below, don’t be selfish and let us know it in a comment below!
Potato chips. Any flavor. Crushed. (Who are we kidding? Don’t crush a perfectly good chip. Just nosh on the perfectly shaped whole potato chips and reserve the sad little crumbs at the bottom of the bag for your drumsticks.)
Yep. Try crushing wasabi-coated peas into oblivion.
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, white, or blue corn.
Minus the milk.
Japanese panko, preferably seasoned with sesame seeds or spice or dried herbs
Day-old corn bread (and yep, you can 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 relevant if you happen to have some homemade cheesy fish crackers on hand.
Gluten-Free Rice Crackers
Hey, how about those zesty little rice crackers that come in all those funky shapes?
Finally, a proper use for pita chips! (Any flavor you fancy or happen to have on hand will work 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?)
Oven Fried Drumsticks
- Mild olive or vegetable oil or melted butter
- 8 3 1/2 lbs 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.
Woman’s Day Crazy Crunchy Coatings For Oven Fried DrumsticksItalian: 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
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I had so much fun trying new coatings for these oven fried drumsticks! The basic oven fried chicken 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. 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?
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.
It was great to play a little and bring the fun back to weeknight dinners. Thanks.
When I was growing up, my mom often baked chicken drumsticks 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.
These oven fried drumsticks were so good. We all loved them.
I made a panko-crusted chicken breast for my husband, because he prefers the white meat, and the rest of us had drumsticks. I dipped 2 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.
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) 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.
We did not try it but I had the idea to try a play on chicken and waffles—maybe using a maple flavored cereal? It was great to be pushed to play a little and bring the fun back to week night dinners. Thanks.
Originally published April 16, 2019