Wondering how long to cook chicken legs in the oven at 350? It’s time to tackle this juicy question.
Chicken legs never disappoint, whether it’s for a cozy family dinner or a casual get-together.
Their luscious meat and crispy skin make them a tasty treat. And luckily for you, they are easy to whip up.
All you need are a few simple tips and tricks! And you will nail the timing and technique for delicious baked chicken legs.
Every. Single. Time.
How to Cook Chicken Legs in the Oven at 350
1. Start by preheating the oven.
Set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). This is the best temperature for baking chicken.
2. Prepare the drumsticks.
Next, rinse your chicken drumsticks under cold water and pat them dry. This step is essential for getting that desirable crispy skin.
3. Prep the seasoning mix.
Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs in a large bowl.
Add the zest and 1/2 the juice from 1 lemon, then mix everything together. Save the rest of the lemon juice for later.
4. Coat the drumsticks.
Now, toss the drumsticks around in the seasoning until they are coated.
5. Prepare the baking sheet.
Arrange your chicken legs on a parchment or aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Make sure the legs are not touching each other.
Place the chicken in the oven and let it bake for 45-55 minutes.
Let them bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
Remember to flip the chicken legs halfway to ensure even cooking.
7. Add the finishing touch.
Once out of the oven, drizzle the remaining lemon juice over the chicken legs.
It adds a fresh, zesty finish!
8. Allow time for resting.
Let the chicken rest for a good 5 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to settle.
9. Serve the chicken.
Serve warm, and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken drumsticks!
Should I Use Aluminum Foil When Baking Chicken?
Wrapping chicken legs in foil for oven baking? Yes, it definitely has some perks!
One advantage is that it helps to lock in the moisture. That means your chicken will not dry out. Dry chicken is not good chicken.
But will foil make the chicken cook faster? Well, not really.
It will keep the heat and moisture close to the chicken. And it might speed up the cooking time a little.
And it may also help your chicken cook more evenly.
Still, do not count on saving a lot of time. We’re talking maybe 5 minutes faster.
Dinner may not be much faster, but your chicken will be juicier!
All in all, using foil is a fantastic trick for tasty, tender chicken legs.
Do You Need to Flip Chicken Legs While Baking?
If you want the best results for your chicken legs, give them a flip! Halfway through baking, turn those drumsticks over.
It’s a little trick to help them get extra crispy. Plus, it ensures they cook evenly. So, grab those tongs and give ‘em a flip.
How to Tell When Chicken Legs Are Done?
Just pulled your chicken out of the oven? Great, now check to see if it is cooked. There are two solid methods.
- Grab your trusty meat thermometer. The chicken is ready when the chicken inner temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- This is the safest way to check.
- No thermometer? No problem.
- You can take a knife and make a cut until you hit the bone. If you have clear juices, you are in the clear!
But wait, is the meat still pink? Keep cool!
That pink hue is not always a bad sign. Even fully cooked chicken can have a rosy tinge near the joints or bones.
The myoglobin in the chicken muscles oxidizes when it cooks. That turns the heme iron component pink.
So, that pink color does not always mean your chicken is undercooked. Just check the temperature or the juices!
How Long Should You Bake Frozen Chicken Legs?
Got frozen chicken legs? No sweat. You can cook those babies up with no problem!
A group of frozen drumsticks will need 40-50 minutes to cook.
Just remember to be thorough. Use your food thermometer to check in a few spots. That will help you make sure your chicken cooks evenly.
The tricky thing with cooking straight from the freezer is the risk of uneven cooking. So, keep a keen eye on those frozen drumsticks!
Tips for the Best Baked Chicken Legs
Here are some tips and tricks to make the best baked chicken legs possible:
- Pat dry your drumsticks. A dry chicken leg means crispy skin. Use a paper towel for this job.
- Brine it, baby! Whip up a water and salt brine, dunk your chicken, and chill for juiciness. Or try a dry brine with salt rubbed right on the skin.
- Marinate for maximum flavor. Rub your marinade all over the chicken. Let it soak up those tasty flavors in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- You can let it marinate at room temperature for a short time.
- Herbs are your friend. Add herbs to your marinade for a flavor and aroma boost. Whether dried or fresh, herbs like rosemary, cilantro, dill, tarragon, and parsley work wonders.
- Foil is your ally. Use foil to line your baking pan and avoid sticking. A quick spray of non-stick cooking spray makes cleaning a breeze.
- The baking rack trick. Use a baking rack to prevent overcooking the bottom of the chicken.
- Size matters. Chicken leg size can alter cooking times. Aim for similarly-sized pieces for even cooking. Large drumsticks may need extra time in the oven.
- Monitor the heat. Your oven temperature is crucial. Always double-check it with an oven thermometer before putting your food in.
- Crisp it up. Bake the chicken legs a little longer for crispy skin and a golden color.
- Your internal temperature might hit 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. But it should not affect the juiciness of the chicken.
- Broil for the crunch. If your drumsticks are not crispy enough once cooked, pop them under the broiler. A couple of minutes will do the trick.
- Just keep a close watch to avoid burning!
Storing, Reheating, & Freezing Chicken Legs
Have leftovers? No problem!
Pop them in an airtight container and put them in the fridge. They will last up to 5 days.
What about raw drumsticks? You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. But the freezer is better for long-term storage.
You can freeze raw drumsticks for up to 9-12 months.
- Lay them on a parchment-lined sheet pan so they do not touch. Place them into the freezer.
- When frozen solid, tuck them into a freezer bag.
- Thaw them overnight in the fridge before you continue the recipe.
Already baked those drumsticks, but still have some left? You bet you can freeze them, too! Baked drumsticks will last for 3-4 months in the freezer.
Ready to reheat?
- Pop the chicken into a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven or an air fryer for the best results.
- You could use a microwave in a hurry. But beware. You lose that crispy skin.
- Let frozen, cooked chicken thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
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