Chicken Legs

March 2nd, 2010 by katie

We don’t eat as much chicken in the chaos house as we should.  It is an excellent, healthy and less expensive, protein source.  It’s just that chicken seems so boring.  I mean its just chicken.  You don’t need a recipe to cook chicken, you just cook it.  I forget sometimes that food doesn’t need to be complicated or extravagant to be delicious.  Take these chicken legs.  Some friends of ours make these chicken legs all the time and they are always great, but there isn’t a thing to it.  In fact, this was one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time as far as ease, flavor, and child cooperation-and it’s barely even a recipe.

Baked Chicken Legs

serves 6, prep 10 min, cook 40 min
  • 4 lbs chicken legs (this was about 20 legs or about 3-4 legs per person)
  • salt and pepper or seasoned salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • hot sauce if desired (like Frank’s)
  1. Heat oven to 475°.  Dry chicken legs by pressing them all over with a paper towel (do this even if they seem dry already, it will help the spices stick).
  2. In a large bowl or plastic bag, toss chicken legs with salt and pepper or seasoned salt (I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika).
  3. Add about 2 tbsp of oil to the bowl or bag and toss until legs are coated.
  4. Spread legs onto one or two rimmed baking sheets or roasting pan and place in the oven.
  5. Cook, using tongs to flip legs occasionally, approx 40 minutes or until meat easily separates from the bone.
  6. Broil chicken legs briefly until skin browns and crisps slightly. Flip if desired.
  7. If desired you can brush or toss some of the legs with hot sauce or serve plain or serve sprinkled lightly with Parmesan cheese.

In the picture above is also our homemade rice-a-roni.  Meals like these are nice because the oven does all the work, giving you time to make sides or clean up the kitchen.  Also, it is a great way to prepare a lot of meat at once, to eat for leftovers or in salads, or to take to work for lunch.

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Posted in Budget, Easy, Main Dish

46 Responses

  1. Alison @ Hospitality Haven

    I love chicken! I find it to be so diverse and most people who eat mat like it!

  2. Alison @ Hospitality Haven

    oops… *meat! 😉

  3. DailyChef

    I totally agree with you – chicken can seem boring sometimes, and it’s easy to overlook. But it’s delicious when done right. Just have to avoid drying it out!

  4. Happy Cook

    I would love this, actually i would love everything on that table except sprouts.

  5. Melissa

    Made with thighs and legs, roasted or baked chicken with sides is my go to weeknight meal. And it is a good reminder to simplify.

    The homemade rice-a-roni was the first thing I noticed in the picture. I’ve been telling myself since the original posting that I was going to make that… printing right now…

  6. Q.

    I loved chicken legs as a kid. They were the first thing I went for. LOVE dark meat! This sounds really good and easy.

  7. Kristen

    Where have chicken legs been all my life? I had no idea they could be so good. This recipe made the BEST chicken legs I have ever made and had.
    My 3 year old, who NEVER eats, had 2 1/2!

    Thanks, Katie!!

  8. Lia Huber

    These look terrific! I had to follow the rave reviews from Dine and Dish. I can’t believe they’re so simple. Will definitely be giving them a try soon. Thanks!

  9. Memoria

    I came from Dine and Dish, too. I’m going to bookmark this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Kristen

    Trust me ladies… as Katie says “stupidly simple” and soooooo delicious!

  11. Nessie

    A silly question but how much salt, pepper, onion powder etc do you use for the 4lb of chicken legs? 1 tsp of each? Thanks! 🙂

  12. Michelle

    We just had these for dinner, along with your homemade rice-a-roni, and they were a big hit!! The chicken legs bake up so nice and the flavor is just wonderful. And it’s SO easy! My kids were fighting over the last chicken legs.

  13. Emily

    these look great! cannot wait to try! how do you think they would be grilled?

    I think there are recipes out there better suited for grilling. This recipe is really about the cooking technique: an easy, hands-off way to get juicy, tender meat. -Katie

  14. Shelly

    These were great!! I’ve been looking for an easy and delicious way to make chicken for forever.

    My finicky 3 yr old twin daughters absolutely LOVED them. I will be making these a LOT. Thank you so much!

  15. April K

    We absolutely love these chicken legs! I make this recipe a few times a month because I know my family will gobble it up! Delicious!

  16. Lansing

    Fool proof way to cook up a batch of legs- thanks!

  17. Mark


  18. Lansing

    Reporting back in-

    I highly recommend: AFTER oiling all the meat -seasoning on on one side- then turning the legs (or thighs which work as well as legs) after 15 minutes of baking and seasoning the other side then the remaining 30 minutes.

    I have followed this formula for legs AND thighs- and my family loves me even more than they did before. (which was a a lot of love 😉

    I have played around with the seasonings- using a ginger/garlic based powder with salt and pepper as an alternative.

    All have been good- and when in doubt- simple is better.

    This recipe/formula RAWX!


  19. Melissa mandella

    Question- will this be just as good with other pieces of chicken? No one in my family will eat legs, but they will eat other pieces, breast or thighs. I don’t like legs either, but I don’t want to waste a whole batch of chicken…any thoughts?

    This recipes works in part because the high fat in the legs keeps the meat moist while they get nice and brown. If you want to use a leaner cut you will need to cook it for a much shorter period of time or add extra fat to keep them from drying out. -Katie

  20. Brenda

    Is the temperature correct? Legs look burnt after only 10 minutes. They are still in the oven so we are waiting to try these. Also should it be equal parts of all those spices?
    Thanks for your help!

  21. Ashlyn

    Am I the only one who had BOTH baking dishes crack in half in the oven?!

  22. Christi

    Hello there, I got here by being linked from Dine & Dish.

    I’m a 17 year old, female teen.

    I stumbled across some cleaned, but not seasoned chicken legs as I was left home alone today. My Grandfather is at the hospital with my Grandma who should be getting released in a matter of hours.

    I’ve always been a cleaner since small, but lately, my family is trying to push me into cooking, so internet recipes, here I am!

    This will be my 2nd homemade dish this month that will hopefully make everyone feel good to come home to.

    Thank you so so much for sharing and making something “stupidly simple” for someone like me.

  23. Allysha

    I’m a newlywed… a complete virgin in the kitchen… this chicken gives me hope! It is indeed, stupidly simple and ABSOLUTELY DELISH! The hubby LOVES it, I LOVE it, best recipe ever!

  24. Rebecca C

    I love dark meat in the oven. It’s almost impossible to dry out. I HATE dry chicken. For that reason I almost never order chicken in restaurants because I don’t trust them! I only trust myself to not dry it out. To the person asking about chicken breasts in the oven: cook for a much shorter time. But also if the breast is really thick, maybe cut in half to make two thinner cuts. Usually by the time the inside is cooked the outside is bone dry. But anyway, thanks for the wonderful idea!

  25. Rebecca C

    to clarify my last sentence: If you have a thick piece of breast meat, the outside will be dry once the inside is safely cooked. hence cutting it horizontally or transverse cut.

  26. gray

    Try just once Adobo, Sazon, Garlic, black pepper, and evoo. Thrown into the bag and marinated for the same time and baked the same way. I can credit 10 lbs sense I met my wife she is an awesome Latin woman that cooks like it is just another thing done and with as much ease she makes dishes most people would study to be able to do…

  27. Meeta

    Do you use skinless drumsticks or skin on?

  28. Sara

    Love this recipe! Thanks, it’s our new go to for a quick, easy, satisfying meal.

  29. audry

    Are you kidding!!! Putting Olive Oil in the oven at 475 will smoke your house up!! Olive oil has a temperature point and that is 275 tops. Use ANY other oil.

  30. Angel

    I made a little bit just for two. I used the paper towel to oil and coat with the season. Saved me time. Love it!!!

  31. Teresa

    These are the BEST CHICKEN LEGS EVER! This is my go-to recipe when I want to bake chicken legs. I’m using it tonight to BBQ them. BEST! EVER!!!

    I share this recipe with anyone and everyone. I am so glad I happened upon it however long ago that was and by whatever means it was. I can’t remember…over a year…through some means of magical Interwebsness.

  32. Amber

    I agree with the poster who mentioned the olive oil smoking up the house! My apartment set off the fire alarm and now it is all smoky so I am fanning it out!!

  33. Dave

    I am going to try your chicken leg recipe for a family pot luck we are going to tomorrow. I wanted to comment on the brusell sprouts. If you haven’t tried putting butter, salt and dill weed on them then you have not idea how good they can be.

  34. Things: the “purge my browser of ridiculous amounts of” Links Edition | the Pike Place Kitchen

    […] My favorite way to make chicken legs. […]

  35. Natalie

    I just made these & the olive oil spattered all inside my oven and smoked the house up, setting the smoke alarms off! They tasted good – but any suggestions on how to keep this from happening?

  36. Erin

    Freaking out! My legs are starting to sizzle after 5 mins in oven . I questioned the 475deg oven but I decided to do as it says…. Now I’m reading comments about smoke and burning but there is no response to these comments! Someone pleaseee respond!??

  37. Robin

    We had six legs to prepare, so we just patted the chicken dry, sprinkled with suggested seasonings (I imagine the coating would have been more uniform had we used a plastic bag to shake it all up in) At 475 degrees I hardly think it will take this small amount to cook up, but, we shall see! I will come back in after we see the results. Thanks!

  38. Elizabeth N.

    Just wanted to let you know that since I found this recipe a while back, I have made this recipe a gazillion times. My hubby and I both love it. I make it along with the rice-a-roni recipe and love that as well.

  39. JoAnn S.

    I got here by a link from Dine & Dish. I too read all the comments. I’m making these today, but I will be using some old cookie sheets, non-stick spray on them. instead of olive oil, im going to use avocado oil which is even healthier and has a much higher smoke point. I am also going to reduce temp to 400 or maybe 425… and we will see.
    I’m also seasoning with a mix of sea salt, seasoned garlic salt, pepper and onion powder. I just rinsed and dried the legs, skin on, placed on prepared pans, brushed lightly with avocado oil and seasoned heavily from a shaker, flipped and repeated. They are cooking now and I can smell how yummy they are going to be! Great sunday dinner – comming up!

  40. Meal Plan {10/13 - 10/17}

    […] Tuesday: Baked Chicken Legs […]

  41. Emily

    I have this in the oven now, and it is very smokey! I opened it up to turn the legs and smoke everywhere. And that is with my oven at 440. I used regular olive oil (virgin/refined mix). I may try sesame oil or something similar next time. I’m sure it’ll still taste great, but I’ll second the recommendation to swap out the oil variety. That’s probably a better option than lowering the temperature if you want a nice crispy skin. I used garlic powder, salt and pepper with a tiny pinch each of ginger, onion powder and cayenne.

  42. WM

    Hi, I’m interested in the brown colored rice pictured here with the chicken legs. Can you share that recipe?

  43. Meal Plan {3/23 - 3/27}

    […] Monday: Baked Chicken Legs […]

  44. Shannon P

    I have my chicken in the oven now, it’s about halfway through the bake time. I use a gas oven. It’s set at 475. I followed the recipe exactly (ie I dried the chicken legs, put them in a plastic bag with the dry seasonings & shook, then I added the 2 tbls of olive oil and shook again.) The chicken is sizzling, but the oven is not smoking as it was such a small amount of olive oil that just coated the chicken. They look great and they smell delicious. I have to go now as the husband is lurking by the stove.

  45. Meal Plan {7/24 - 7/28}

    […] Wednesday: Baked Chicken Legs […]

  46. four

    ? ev?ry t?me u?ed to read arti?le in news papers ?ut now as I am
    a user ?f internet therefor? from now I am using net for content, thanks to ?eb.

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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