👨‍🍳 Crispy Fried Chicken Legs Recipe | Easy & Juicy

by | Jul 1, 2024 | Chicken Recipes, Fried Chicken Recipes

Have you ever wondered why some homemade fried chicken legs are so crispy? We’re here to share the secrets. Discover how to make crispy fried chicken legs that are both delicious and simple to cook!

Come along on a special trip to the world of homemade fried chicken legs. This dish is a favorite in American cooking and has been perfected over years.

Any cook, whether starting out or very experienced, can learn to make yummy crispy fried chicken legs. It’s great for making any meal special.

This top-rated recipe, first shared on 9/15/15 and refreshed on 8/26/18, guarantees tasty and moist chicken legs. With Karly Campbell’s detailed steps and a high rating from 156 votes, you’re about to elevate your kitchen. Prepare to cook the best comfort food.

Key Takeaways

  • A recipe consistently delivering juicy and crispy fried chicken legs.
  • Perfectly cooked chicken legs in about 40 minutes.
  • This delicious fried chicken legs recipe serves up to 10 servings.
  • Authored by the skilled Karly Campbell, highlighting expert techniques.
  • Ensures a balanced blend of nutritional components per serving.

Introduction to Crispy Fried Chicken Legs

Fried chicken legs are a favorite for many, combining a crispy outside with juicy meat inside. You might be looking for the perfect recipe to impress your friends. Or perhaps, you just love its simple, yet joyful taste.

The secret to delicious fried chicken is its crispy crust and juicy meat. It all starts by soaking the chicken in buttermilk. This makes the chicken soft and adds flavor before it’s fried. The seasoning, like paprika and salt, gives it that fantastic color and taste.

Want the perfect crunch? Mix buttermilk and flour into a paste. It sticks better to the chicken for an even crisper bite. Then, fry at a high heat first, lower the heat for a bit, and turn it up again to finish crispy.

Your chicken is ready when it’s 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside. And keep the oil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.

Learning to cook fried chicken legs can turn any night into a special occasion. It’s quick and simple, making it a favorite for anyone who tries it.

Ready for your fried chicken adventure? Let’s start!

Preparation Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Additional Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 8
Ingredients Chicken, Buttermilk, Flour, Seasonings, Oil
Calories per serving 489
Protein per serving 41g
Cooking Technique Initial High Heat, Reduce, Final High Heat
Internal Temperature 165°F
Oil Temperature 350°F

By the end of this guide, you will have the skills to make amazing fried chicken legs. So, get ready to enjoy one of the best chicken recipes ever.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make tasty fried chicken legs, you need the right ingredients. Start with the basic items. This makes sure your food tastes great and leaves you satisfied.

The Essentials

  • 3-4 lbs of chicken legs (serves 8 people)
  • Flour
  • Baking powder for enhanced crispiness
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika

Optional Seasonings

For added flavor, try some optional seasonings on your fried chicken legs. You can mix and match them to your liking.

  • Cayenne pepper for some heat
  • Smoked paprika for a bold taste
  • Ranch dressing mix
  • Salt and pepper
  • Other preferred spices

These ingredients will turn your fried chicken legs into a flavor sensation. It’s all about using the right ingredients. They make cooking and eating this dish a joy.

How to Prepare Chicken Legs

Getting chicken legs just right is key to making fantastic fried chicken legs. You’ll need about 16 chicken drumsticks or a mix with thighs. First, marinate them. Use a mix of buttermilk, hot sauce, garlic, Creole seasoning, and salt. Let them sit in the mixture for at least four hours or, for the best flavor, overnight.

preparing chicken legs

For great fried chicken legs, make sure the skin is tight. Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, paprika, garlic and onion powder, cayenne, white pepper, salt, and herbs. This mix will give you a crispy coating. Roll each drumstick in this breading. Then, they’re ready to fry.

To fry, use 3 cups of vegetable oil. Heat it to 375℉/190℃. You should start frying when it’s at least 350℉/177℃. Cook the chicken legs for about 10 minutes on each side. They should be a lovely golden brown. Always check that the meat inside hits 165℉/75℃, the safe point.

Here’s a quick look at the steps for perfect fried chicken legs:

Step Details
Marination Time At least 4 hours or overnight
Marinate Ingredients Buttermilk, hot sauce, garlic, Creole seasoning, salt
Breading Mixture Flour, cornstarch, baking powder, seasonings
Oil Quantity 3 cups, with more as needed
Preheat Oil Temperature Minimum 350℉/177℃
Frying Time Approximately 10 minutes per side
Safe Internal Temperature 165℉/75℃

After you fry them, let the legs rest for 10 minutes. This keeps the outside nice and crispy. And that’s how you get tasty, easy fried chicken legs.

Best Oils for Frying Chicken

Getting the right oil for fried chicken is key to that tasty, crispy outside we all enjoy. It matters because not every oil is good for frying chicken legs. Each oil type has a different smoke point, which can change the taste and texture. Here are the best oils to pick:

  1. Vegetable Shortening: It can be heated to 360°F before smoking. It’s good for its plain taste but not as good for very high heat frying.
  2. Lard: It can tolerate up to 370°F. Lard makes your chicken taste rich. Yet, you must watch the temperature carefully.
  3. Peanut Oil: It has a high smoke point of 450°F, making it ideal for fried chicken. It’s known for adding a light taste without overshadowing the chicken’s flavor.
  4. Canola Oil: Canola oil can handle up to 400°F before smoking. It’s a solid pick for frying chicken legs because it’s easy to find and doesn’t add much taste.
  5. Coconut Oil: With a smoke point at 450°F, coconut oil can make your fried chicken slightly sweet. This adds a different flavor to the dish.

Frying chicken legs means you need to keep the oil at the right temperature. The best range for frying is 350˚ to 365˚ Fahrenheit. Too much heat can burn the outside but leave the inside uncooked. If it’s too cold, the chicken will soak up too much oil, making it greasy. Always use a thermometer to check the oil and adjust it as needed.

To get the best fried chicken, it’s also important to brine the meat overnight. After frying, let the chicken sit on a rack over paper towels for ten minutes. This step helps keep the chicken crispy.

In summary, for fried chicken legs, choose from vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. They offer high smoke points and mild tastes. This ensures your fried chicken is delicious and crispy every time.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Frying up perfect chicken legs can be tricky. But knowing how to fix common problems makes it easier to get great tasting results. We’ll look into two common issues and offer solutions so you can fry your chicken legs without these problems.

When your chicken legs are undercooked, it affects both taste and safety. The key is to keep the oil at 325°F (163°C). This temperature cooks the meat through without burning the outside. It’s also important to check the meat’s internal temperature. Chicken legs should be between 175°F (79°C) to 200°F (93°C). Using a leave-in probe thermometer, such as the ChefAlarm, can help you keep track of these temperatures. This ensures your chicken is safe and delicious.

Overly Greasy Chicken

If your fried chicken ends up too greasy, you can fix it. Make sure the oil is just right, between 300°F (149°C) and 325°F (163°C), before you begin. Use oils like peanut or corn oil for their high smoke points. They keep the frying process steady. A heavy-bottomed pan helps your chicken cook evenly. Also, letting breaded chicken pieces sit before cooking and placing them on a wire rack afterwards helps drain excess oil. These tips will ensure your fried chicken is crispy but not oily.

How to Achieve Juicy Chicken Legs Every Time

To make juicy homemade chicken legs every time, pay close attention to detail. This includes managing the cooking temperature, seasoning properly, and using effective brining methods.

Soaking chicken legs in a buttermilk brine for at least 4 hours is crucial. It’s even better if they soak for up to 24 hours. This mix includes buttermilk, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

juicy homemade chicken legs

For perfectly fried chicken legs, start by preheating your oven to 425°F. Bake the chicken for 40 minutes. Make sure the meat stays between 185-195°F inside. Flip them over at 20 minutes for even cooking.

Good seasoning is key to making your chicken taste amazing. Use 2 tsp paprika, 1.5 tsp kosher salt, and 1 tsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, dried rosemary, and parsley flakes. Add ½ tsp each of ground black pepper and ground mustard, and 1 tbsp olive oil. For extra flavor, you can include ½ tsp cayenne pepper and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. You might also try smoked paprika for a smoky taste.

Metric Value
Baking Temperature 425°F
Cooking Time 40 minutes
Internal Temperature 185-195°F
Calories per Serving 190
Fat per Serving 14.7g
Protein per Serving 13.5g
Total Carbs per Serving 0.4g
Net Carbs per Serving 0.3g

This recipe is very popular. It’s our top chicken recipe on the website. Perfect fried chicken legs combine the right temperature, time, and seasonings for a juicy, delightful taste every time.

For juicy chicken, think about your flour coating and frying oil. A mix of all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and spices makes a crispy crust that keeps the meat moist. Use oils like canola, peanut, or sunflower for their high smoking points.

With these tips, you can serve up juicy homemade chicken legs perfectly every time!

The Importance of Seasoning

Using the right seasonings is key for tasty fried chicken. Mix spices to make your chicken legs stand out. With the right herbs and spices, you’ll get flavors that are rich and deep.

Basic Spices

Every great fried chicken needs a solid seasoning mix. Here are some basics:

  • 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley

These basic spices are key for tasty fried chicken legs. They’re where you start to add more flavors.

Advanced Seasoning Techniques

Want to take your fried chicken up a notch? Try some advanced seasoning tips. Mix in different herbs and spices for extra flavor. You can add:

  • White pepper and celery salt for a little heat
  • Garlic powder and ginger for a sharp taste
  • Italian seasoning for a taste of the Mediterranean

Add buttermilk to your flour too, for a crispier coating. This trick is for those who want their chicken extra crunchy.

Accompaniments for Fried Chicken Legs

When you serve fried chicken legs, the sides are just as important. They add balance and variety to the meal. You can choose from classic dishes or try something new. Let’s explore top picks that go great with fried chicken legs:

  • Mashed Potatoes: They’re a hit with about 18% of people. Creamy mashed potatoes go well with the crispy chicken.
  • Coleslaw: This crunchy, tangy dish is enjoyed by about 13% of folks. It cuts through the chicken’s richness.
  • French Fries: Loved by nearly 20%, these fries are a classic match for fried chicken.
  • Macaroni Salad: It’s picked by 15% for a reason. This salad adds a nice flavor to the meal.
  • Green Beans: A choice of 12%, it’s a light, healthy option.
  • Potato Salad: Goes with fried chicken 11% of the time. It’s perfect for picnics or casual meals.
  • Sweet Potatoes: About 9% choose sweet potatoes for a sweet and savory touch.
  • Cornbread: It’s the pick of 8% and adds a sweet, crumbly texture to the meal.
  • Hush Puppies: For about 7%, it’s a tasty deep-fried choice that complements the chicken.

If you’re up for something new, there are plenty of exciting options. Try dishes like veggie-stuffed tomatoes, skillet sweet potatoes, or quinoa kale salad. These bring in different flavors and textures. Mixing cooking techniques, like roasting or sautéing, can make your meal diverse and tasty.

This guide showcases over 30 side dishes you can enjoy with fried chicken. Whether you prefer traditional or more adventurous options, there’s something for everyone. These sides will make your meal even more enjoyable.

Storing and Reheating Fried Chicken

Storing and reheating fried chicken right can keep it tasting great. It’s key to chill it within two hours of cooking. You can keep it in the fridge for three to four days. Or freeze it for up to four months to enjoy it later.

storing homemade fried chicken

Reheating fried chicken has many tricks. Baking it in the oven at 400°F for 15 minutes makes it crispy. Always use a wire rack on a baking sheet and avoid foil. You can also try a toaster oven, the stove, or an air fryer. For air frying, set it to 375°F and cook for about four minutes for great texture.

It’s smart to let the chicken sit out before reheating. But, microwaving makes it soggy, so it’s best not to use it. If your chicken is frozen, you can reheat it without thawing. Try using a mix of microwave and oven, or just the oven.

The choice of oil and skillet heat also matter when reheating fried chicken. An oil temperature of about 300°F keeps the chicken crispy and not too greasy. Don’t forget to adjust the cooking time based on the size of the chicken. This helps avoid it being undercooked or too dry.

For more information, check out expert advice online. Websites like Food Network and Southern Living have tips for making leftover fried chicken tasty again.

Fried Chicken Legs Recipe

Making your own fried chicken legs is fun and tasty. Our special recipe ensures you get perfectly cooked drumsticks every time, crispy on the outside and juicy inside.

The recipe was first shared on 4/12/2021 and updated on 6/16/2024. It tells you how to make 14 delicious chicken drumsticks. We’ll go over what you need, how to prepare, and the cooking steps.

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
    • 4 tablespoons creole seasoning (divided)
    • 2 tablespoons black pepper (divided)
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • Peanut oil for frying
    • 3.5 lbs fresh chicken drumsticks

Optional Ingredients: 2 tablespoons salted Cajun seasoning (Old Bay), 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 eggs, 2 5 oz bags of seasoned croutons (crushed), 3 tablespoons melted butter, parsley for garnish.


  1. In a big bowl, mix buttermilk, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning, and 1 tablespoon of black pepper.
  2. Add the chicken to this mix, making sure it’s all covered. Then, chill it for 1 to 12 hours for the best taste.
  3. In another bowl, combine flour, the rest of the creole seasoning, and pepper.
  4. Next, heat the oil to 350°F (175°C).
  5. Take the chicken out of the mix and coat it in the flour mixture.
  6. Fry the drumsticks until they are golden and cooked, which should take about 12-15 minutes. Don’t forget to turn them!

If you’re using the oven, heat it to 425°F. Oil a large grilling pan’s racks. Put your drumsticks on and bake for 30-35 minutes. Turn them halfway. For more crunch, add butter and parsley on top.

Nutritional Information per Serving (1 Drumstick):
A single serving has 246 kcal, 24g carbs, 17g protein, and more. You also get vitamins like A and C, and minerals like calcium and iron.

Storage & Reheating:

Keep your chicken in the fridge for up to 4 days. To store longer, freeze it for up to 6 weeks. Reheat it with an air fryer for 5 minutes to keep it crispy.

Serving Suggestions: Enjoy your chicken with mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and more. It’s the perfect meal with sides like these.

Alternative Cooking Methods

Baking and air frying chicken legs are great for those who want healthier options. They offer a texture close to frying but use less oil. This is perfect for anyone trying to cut back on fat but who loves crispy food.


To bake chicken legs well, you need to ensure they get crispy all over. First, heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Then, cook the chicken for 30 minutes on each side. This cooks them fully and gets them nice and crispy. Adding baking powder can make the skin even crunchier. The simple ingredients for baking chicken legs are:

  • 12 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika

Each serving of oven-fried chicken has 310 calories, 15g of fat, 18g of carbs, and 24g of protein.

Air Frying

Air frying chicken legs is both quick and easy. First, preheat your air fryer to 390°F (200°C). Then, cook your chicken legs for 25 minutes. Make sure to turn them over halfway through. This method cuts down on oil but keeps your chicken crispy and tasty.

People who’ve tried this suggest some tweaks. You might like using Panko breadcrumbs. And, adding seasonings like oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder can amp up the flavor. Using a vegetable oil spray is also a good idea. It makes cleaning up easier and lowers the dish’s calorie count.

Both baking and air frying let you keep your chicken for a few days. Just store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, you can reheat it in the oven or microwave.

Benefits of Homemade Fried Chicken

Making your own fried chicken has lots of perks. You get to pick the ingredients and spices. This means you know it’s fresh and without preservatives. You also get to season it just how you like.

Try soaking it in buttermilk, Frank’s buffalo sauce, and Tony’s Creole Seasoning for a kick. And make your flour mix special with things like paprika, garlic, and onion powder. This gives your chicken a flavor all its own.

There’s also the option to make healthier fried chicken legs. Use good oils like peanut or canola. Cook it to an internal temp of 165°F for a health-safe meal. This way, you cut down on bad fats and the chances of it being under or overdone.

Making your own chicken saves money too. You can get a big pack for about $9. It’s not just cheaper; you can also watch out for your health. Planning a low-carb, gluten-free, or high-protein diet? No problem with homemade. Recipes for those diets are easy to find.

What’s more, you can make a big batch for 12 people in one go. Each serving is about 425 calories. It has 32g of fat, 1g net carbs, and 34g of protein. That’s a meal you can save for later or share with family and friends. With a 4.8 out of 5 rating from 14 reviews, people really love it.

But there’s a big bonus to making your own chicken. It’s the happiness it brings. Cooking and eating together makes cherished memories. So, when you make fried chicken at home, you’re making more than a meal. You’re creating moments that will be remembered for years.

Variations of Crispy Fried Chicken Legs

Trying different crispy chicken legs recipes can make an old favorite soar to new levels. Many marinades, coatings, and spices mix together to bring joy to every bite.

One great way is to soak the chicken legs in a mix of Greek yogurt, egg yolk, and Italian herbs. Let them sit for 30 minutes to 12 hours. This makes the meat tender and tasty. Then, coat them with a mix of rice flour, cornstarch, and semolina for an extra crunch.

Not a fan of deep frying? No problem. Baking them in the oven with a crust made of crushed cornflakes or cereal is a great choice. It’s not just healthier, but it also makes them taste and feel different. Remember to heat the oven for 30 minutes to get that perfect crisp.

Another delicious option is air-frying. Lightly spray the legs with oil and cook them for 20 to 25 minutes at 200°C (400°F). This method uses less oil but keeps the chicken crispy.

Method Ingredients Cooking Time Notes
Oven-Fried Greek yogurt, egg yolk, rice flour, breadcrumbs, Italian herbs 30-35 mins Healthier with minimal grease
Air-Fried Breadcrumbs, crushed cereal, cooking oil spray 20-25 mins Lower fat alternative
Classic Deep-Fried Buttermilk, all-purpose flour, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper 10-12 mins Ensures a traditional taste

Choosing your method gives you control over flavor and texture. Dive into these unique ways to enjoy fried chicken legs. Your meal will be something to remember every time.

Tips from Experts

If you want to make your fried chicken legs top-notch, listen up. We’ve got advice from top chefs and experienced home cooks. Follow these tips to make sure your fried chicken is perfect every time.

Professional Chefs’ Tips

Leading chefs share key insights for the perfect fried chicken. They recommend choosing a 3-pound chicken and a cast-iron skillet for the best flavor. It’s crucial to fry in peanut oil at 375°F to get that ideal crispy outside.

Experts suggest using Lawry’s seasoning salt, Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt, and a bit of cayenne for a tasty twist. They advise cooking for 40 minutes, flipping every 10, and then covering for 10-15 minutes. This makes sure your chicken is cooked through and juicy.

Home Cooks’ Tips

Regular cooks offer valuable tips for making your fried chicken awesome. They stress on even seasoning and keeping the oil at a steady 375°F. This helps to ensure every batch turns out great.

A top tip from home cooks is to reheat leftovers in a 250°F oven for 15 minutes. It keeps your chicken safe to eat and delicious. They also say to pat your chicken dry after frying to avoid greasiness, improving your dish’s quality.

  1. Prep Time: 5 minutes
  2. Cook Time: 40 minutes
  3. Total Time: 45 minutes
  4. Servings: 4
  5. Calories: 566kcal
Nutrient Amount
Carbohydrates 4g
Protein 43g
Fat 41g
Saturated Fat 11g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Trans Fat 0.2g
Cholesterol 240mg
Sodium 1962mg
Fiber 0.2g
Sugar 0.05g


As we wrap up our tasty journey, let’s reflect on the fried chicken legs recipe. It’s simple and delicious. You can make parmesan-crusted drumsticks or pan-fry leg quarters easily. The steps are straightforward, using basic items from your kitchen. This makes the whole process easy and enjoyable for anyone.

The crispy skin and great flavors come from simple steps and seasonings. You don’t need to deep-fry, which is great for those watching their diet. Each piece is full of protein, so it’s not just yummy but also good for you.

Chicken is very versatile, allowing for lots of tasty versions. You can have tangy buttermilk-marinated thighs or choose parmesan drumsticks for a different taste. Don’t forget the sides, like roasted veggies or homemade bread. These pairings will make your meal stand out. Enjoy making and eating this favorite dish for a truly fulfilling experience.


What ingredients are essential for making crispy fried chicken legs?

You’ll need chicken legs, flour, and baking powder for crispiness. Also, use garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika for flavor.

How can I prevent my fried chicken legs from becoming greasy?

Keep the oil at the right temperature and let the chicken legs drain well after frying. This helps them stay less greasy.

What type of oil is best for frying chicken legs?

Vegetable oil is a good, neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point. Canola oil works well too for frying chicken legs.

How can I ensure my fried chicken legs are cooked thoroughly?

Ensure they reach the right internal temperature. Always use a meat thermometer to check they are done.

What side dishes pair well with fried chicken legs?

Coleslaw, potato salad, and quinoa kale salad are good choices. Sweet potato salad is also a tasty option.They balance out the flavors and textures of the meal.

Can I bake or air fry chicken legs as a healthier alternative?

Yes, baking or air frying is healthier than deep frying. They can get crispy with less oil. Air frying is quick and makes a crunchy coating.

How do I keep leftover fried chicken legs crispy?

Use an oven to reheat the chicken. This keeps them crispy. Avoid the microwave, which can make them soggy. Proper storage is also key.

What’s the best way to season fried chicken legs?

Start with basic seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder. For advanced seasoning, try a mix of herbs and spices. These give a deeper taste.

What are some advanced seasoning techniques for fried chicken legs?

For complex flavors, use herbs, spices, and flavor agents like cayenne and smoked paprika. These add depth to the taste.

Why is baking powder used in the recipe?

Baking powder is used to make the chicken legs crispier. It improves the outside texture.

What are some tips from professional chefs for making the best fried chicken legs?

Season the chicken legs well and manage the oil right. This includes keeping the frying temperature correct. These steps help you get the best-fried chicken.

How can home cooks avoid common pitfalls when making fried chicken legs?

Home cooks should pull the chicken skin tight before cooking. This helps it crisp evenly. Use a meat thermometer to cook them just right. Don’t overcrowd the pan for even cooking.