This flavorful roasted chicken dish is perfect for a weeknight or Sunday dinner. It's got all the flavors you love in one dish! You'll love how easy it is to prepare this baked chicken legs and thighs recipe using only a few ingredients.
- Baked Chicken Legs and Thighs
- What Goes with Baked Chicken?
- Can I Make This with Chicken Breasts?
- How do I Know My Chicken is Done?
- How do I Get the Skin Crispy?
- Can I Make This in an Air Fryer?
- Handy Kitchen Tools
- How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken
- How to Make Crispy Chicken in the Air Fryer
- More Easy Chicken Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
Baked Chicken Legs and Thighs
Baked chicken legs and thighs are a delicious, easy way to make your dinner. This recipe is so simple – just mix together some spices, pour them over the chicken pieces, and bake. The result is tender meat with a crispy crust that’s perfect for dipping in BBQ sauce or honey mustard.
And it’s healthy too! You can feel good about serving this dish to your family without any guilt because it has no added fat or sugar. Plus you know exactly what ingredients are going into the meal since there aren't any preservatives or artificial flavors involved.
The best part about this recipe is how versatile it is. Serve it as-is for an easy weeknight dinner, or add some extra flavor by adding in some of your favorite spices before baking.
What Goes with Baked Chicken?
With a recipe this simple, there are so many options to serve as a side to complete this dinner. You can go very simple and just serve a salad or something like this broccoli cheddar soup. Of course, you can even just your favorite vegetable or some basic garlic butter mashed potatoes instead.
If you want to make the dinner feel more complete and even more amazing you can serve it with homemade scalloped potatoes, creamy mac and cheese, and Hawaiian rolls.
More options that will go fantastic with this baked chicken legs and thighs are recipes like broccoli salad and potato salad. This will bring that homestyle feel to your dinner.
Can I Make This with Chicken Breasts?
You can easily swap out the chicken legs and thighs for chicken breasts. If you are using chicken breast, you will want to make sure to keep the skin on. That is going to give you the same texture and the closest flavor to these chicken legs.
You will need to adjust your cooking time as well. When cooking chicken breast and cooking chicken legs and thighs the cooking time is different. You want to be careful not to dry the chicken breast out since it does not have the same fat content as the darker meat.
A bone-in and skin-on chicken breast will typically take between 45 minutes to 1 hour to be cooked through and safe to serve.
How do I Know My Chicken is Done?
To make sure your baked chicken is cooked all the way through, it is best to use a meat thermometer.
The internal temperature should be at least 160°F before you remove it from the oven. For safety, it should reach 165°F internally before serving. I recommend removing 5° earlier and letting it rest for 10 minutes before serving. This allows the chicken to continue cooking and reach temperature without being overcooked and drying out.
If you do not have a thermometer, you can tell the chicken is done by piercing the thickest part of the meat with a sharp knife. If the juices run clear, it's ready to eat.
How do I Get the Skin Crispy?
One of the best parts about this recipe is how crispy the skin gets. You want to elevate the chicken off the bottom of the pan.
Use a wire rack, like a cooling rack, to get the best results. This gets the chicken out of the grease and lets the air circulate around the chicken.
In this recipe, however, one of those secret tips is included by using baking powder as part of the coating. It works wonderfully to provide crispy skin.
Another secret to getting the skin crispy is layering on some salt before baking it. This will help draw out the moisture in your chicken legs and thighs, which will crisp up when cooked.
Can I Make This in an Air Fryer?
You can definitely make this as an air fryer recipe if you prefer. One thing to remember is that you will need to cook the chicken in batches due to space in your air fryer.
You can find the directions on how to make chicken legs and thighs in the Air Fryer in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chicken legs and thighs
- Baking powder
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
Optional: Barbecue sauce or honey mustard sauce for dipping
How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup, then place an oven-safe wire rack onto the baking sheet and set it aside.
Pat dry the chicken pieces with paper towels.
In a small bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic, and black pepper until well combined.
Place the chicken onto the prepared baking rack.
Coat the chicken on all sides with the spice and baking powder mixture.
Refrigerate, uncovered, for 3 hours. If you prefer to cover, do so loosely, the goal is to let the chicken dry a bit before baking.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake skin side up for 40 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160°F has been reached.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
How to Make Crispy Chicken in the Air Fryer
Follow steps 2 to 4 above.
Place the coated chicken onto a tray or in a container allowing the chicken to be placed in a single layer and not touching. Refrigerate, uncovered for 3 hours.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
Place the chicken pieces into the air fryer basket or tray leaving space between each piece.
Cook for 15 minutes, then turn/flip the chicken pieces over. Continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Check the temperature, and if not yet 160°F internally, continue cooking in additional 5-minute increments until cooked through.
Let stand 10-minutes before serving.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Do you love chicken but need some inspiration to spice up your meal plan? Below are some of my favorite chicken recipes that are ideal for making to add flavor to your menu! Make sure to bookmark, print, or pin the recipes you like to make soon!
- Creamy Chicken Marsala 30-Minute Meal
- Braised Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs with Vegetables
- Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Thighs
- Loaded Baked Potato Chicken Casserole
- Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Additional Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 50 minutes
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken legs
- 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup, then place an oven-safe wire rack onto the baking sheet and set it aside.
- Pat dry the chicken pieces with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic, and black pepper until well combined.
- Coat the chicken on all sides with the spice and baking powder mixture, then place on the prepared wire rack.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, for 3 hours. If you prefer to cover, do so loosely, the goal is to let the chicken dry a bit before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Bake skin side up for 40 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160°F has been reached.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
How to Make Crispy Chicken in the Air Fryer
- Follow steps 2 to 4 above.
- Place the coated chicken onto a tray or in a container allowing the chicken to be placed in a single layer and not touching. Refrigerate, uncovered for 3 hours.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Place the chicken pieces into the air fryer basket or tray leaving space between each piece.
- Cook for 15 minutes, then turn/flip the chicken pieces over. Continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Check the temperature, and if not yet 160°F internally, continue cooking in additional 5-minute increments until cooked through.
- Let stand 10-minutes before serving.
If cooking bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, increase the cooking time to 45 minutes to 1 hour.
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Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 196Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 1198mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 23g
It is generally recommended to bake chicken legs at 400°F (204°C). This higher temperature helps the skin get crispier and ensures that the internal temperature of the meat has reached a safe level. Baking chicken legs at 350°F (177°C) will require longer cooking time, and may result in an overly dry piece of meat.What takes longer to cook chicken thighs or drumsticks? ›
Chicken drumsticks: about 15 minutes. Chicken thighs: between 20-25 minutes, depending on size. Chicken quarters: between 25-30 minutes, depending on size. Check that the chicken legs are cooked through with a meat thermometer; the internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit/ 74 degrees Celsius).Why are my drumsticks not crispy? ›
The best baked chicken legs oven temp is fairly high (425 degrees F), which helps crisp up the skin. Plus, I find that higher temperatures are less prone to drying out the meat. Flip halfway through. For best results, flip the chicken legs halfway through baking, which will help them crisp up more and cook more evenly.Why is chicken not crispy in oven? ›
Chicken skin needs to be dry in order for it to crisp when cooked. Whether or not you rinse the chicken before prepping, you need to make sure the skin is as dry as possible. After removing the chicken from the package (and washing it, if that is your preferred method) pat each piece dry with paper towels.How long should you bake chicken legs at 400? ›
At 400 degrees, drumsticks should only take around 20-25 minutes to bake all the way through to 165 degrees F.How long do chicken legs take at 400? ›
In a 400 degree oven baked chicken drumsticks take about 35 to 45 minutes to cook through depending on their size.Is it better to cook chicken thighs fast or slow? ›
Slow and steady heat means the crispiest chicken.How long are you supposed to bake chicken thighs? ›
In our basic meal prep boneless chicken thighs recipe, they take about 25 to 30 minutes baked at 425 degrees F. You'll know the chicken thighs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.Are chicken thighs better in the oven or pan? ›
As I mentioned above, pan roasting chicken thighs ensures that you'll have crispy skin on chicken thighs. Because you start the cooking process in a very hot pan, you jump start it, and it takes less time in the oven than just straight roasting does. There's a little more active time, but it's well worth it!What is the secret to crispy chicken? ›
Some Southern fried chicken recipes call for cornstarch as the secret to crispy fried chicken because cornstarch binds and thickens the flour batter for an extra crispy crunch!
We like using a rack instead of simply plopping the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet because the rack allows the oven's hot air to reach and crisp-up every single nook and cranny in the chicken skin.Is oil or butter better for crispy chicken skin? ›
“People put butter on the chicken skin with the idea that it's going to help it become crispy — it doesn't,” he laments. “It helps the skin to go brown because the solids in the butter brown, but it doesn't make it crispier.” Instead, he recommends using vegetable oil after thoroughly drying your bird.What makes chicken skin more crispy? ›
Rub with Salt and Baking Powder
Both substances pull moisture out of the skin. But baking powder has additional powers. It prods some of the skin's proteins and fat to break down, which, combined with its alkalinity, accelerates the Maillard reaction, for skin that browns and crisps more quickly.
At what temperature should I cook drumsticks in the oven? You can cook them at any temp between 180C/356F – 220C/425F, you'll just need to adjust the timings accordingly. For the best ratio of juiciness and crispiness I like to roast them nice and hot (220C/425F), just to get a slight charring and extra crispy skin.How long do you bake drumsticks for at 350? ›
- 425°F or 400°F for 20-25 minutes.
- 350°F or 375°F for 25-30 minutes.
- 300°F or 325°F for 30-40 minutes.
Baking at 400 is faster, and the high heat really helps seal in the juices and the flavor of the chicken. I think once you try baking chicken at 400 in the oven, it will become your go-to method.What is the best temperature for chicken drumsticks? ›
Best oven temperature to bake chicken legs
I recommend baking chicken legs at 400 degrees, as it results in a crispier skin on the outside of the chicken. At 400 degrees, the inside of the chicken will still be juicy. Just be sure to flip the chicken over halfway through the baking time.