October 18, 2016
For nights where you don’t want to man the stove and would rather let the oven do the work, these easy chicken drumsticks are the perfect meal solution!
Chicken drumsticks are a recent discovery at our house. Well, they’ve been around forever, but until recently, my children insisted on not eating “chicken with bones.” Totally ridiculous if you ask me since we all know that the meat closest to the bone is most flavorful and juicy.
Their refusal led me to be stuck on a chicken-breast-rut; you know, where you find yourself making the same dozen chicken recipes all made with chicken breast. The problem is that the meat isn’t as flavorful, and no matter how much we marinate or add sauce, the actual meat tastes pretty much the same.
This recipe is for anyone out there that needs a delicious change from chicken breast. Drumsticks are also more affordable, making this recipe ultimately budget friendly.
The carrot fries recipe is from my cookbook, The Best Grain-Free Family Meals on the Planet. Although, I have to tell you that I’ve modified the recipe so baking temperatures are the same, and you can cook both the chicken and carrots at the same time!
In this quick video, I also show you how to make this recipe step by step, and give you some pointers in case you want to prep the recipe ahead of time.
How to Bake Chicken Legs in the Oven
Chicken legs are easy and forgiving to bake in the oven. Unlike chicken breasts, which can easily dry out, baked chicken legs retain more moisture at higher temps and have that crispy skin that holds onto sauces and marinades.
It makes me wonder why I don’t bake them more often!
- Preheat the oven
While I usually bake chicken at ranges of 375F to 400F, 350F is the magic number for this recipe because the chicken is coated with a honey glaze, which can burn when baked at higher temperatures. So to avoid undercooked chicken with a burnt coating- stick to 350F.
- Prepare the Sauce
While the oven preheats, place the chicken legs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, Dijon mustard, salt, curry powder, and black pepper until smooth and cohesive.
- Sauce Up!
Using a basting brush or the back of a spoon, generously brush the sauce over each chicken leg, making sure it is completely coated.
A solid hour to make sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of 175F, ideal for dark meat, and the sauce has that golden-brown caramelized glow.
Make next: Jerk Chicken Drumsticks
What Temperature to Bake Honey Chicken Drumsticks
350F is on the lower end for chicken baking temperatures, and it takes a full hour for the chicken to cook through thoroughly. However, after the first bite, you’ll see why it’s worth the wait!
Thanks to the honey glaze, the chicken meat stays moist and tender while the outside gets crispy on the outside thanks to the honey glaze- it’s really the best of both worlds. Learn more about the best temperature to bake chicken legs.
Healthy Chicken Drumstick Recipe
Without the skin, chicken drumsticks are low in fat, high in protein, and full of flavor all on their own. The dark meat has a way of getting a crispy crust without the meat drying out, which is why I wanted to use them for this recipe.
Let’s take a minute to give credit where it is due, the honey, Dijon curry sauce- it’s BOMB.COM! Not only does it provide an extra layer to prevent the chicken from drying out, but it adds flavor from all angles! Savory, sweet, and tangy!
How much protein in a chicken leg
One average-size chicken leg without the skin is 12.8 grams of protein, add the skin, and it totals to 15 grams of protein.
Much of the fat is located in the skin of the chicken. Skin-on or off is entirely your call; this recipe uses skin-off for the sake of a caramelized coating over the meat, it’s an easy way to amp up the flavor and lower the fat.
Isn’t it easy to make? Perfectly juicy and golden brown drumsticks are what you are getting with this recipe.
What to Serve with Baked Chicken Drumsticks
I know you’ll need a side dish or two for this meal and here are some of my top healthy comfort food sides for baked chicken and other sheet pan dinners.
- Carrot fries
- Roasted Carrots & Radishes
- Green Bean Fries
- Southern Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Root Veggies
- Pan-Roasted Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
Do you have a favorite way to eat drumsticks?
Honey Chicken Drumsticks with Carrot Fries
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon curry powder, or cumin
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 12 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
- 1 pound carrots
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, curry powder, and black pepper. Scoop a couple of tablespoons of the mixture in a small ramekin for basting the drumsticks.
- Place the drumsticks into the bowl and toss to coat with the honey glaze. Transfer the drumsticks onto one of the lined baking sheets.
- Bake them in the preheated oven, for 1 hour, basting and turning them over half way through, until the chicken is browned and the internal temperature has reached 175F. Remove them from the oven when finished, cover in foil to keep warm.
- While the chicken is cooking, wash, peel, and cut carrots into strips. Toss carrots with olive oil and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt in a large bowl.
- Turn oven up to 450F and bake the carrots for 10 minutes, until the thickest slices are golden and the tops are crispy.
- Serve carrots with chicken drumsticks.