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Best Chicken Leg Recipes

Best Chicken Leg Recipes

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Top Rated Chicken Leg Recipes

We go through a lot of whole, free-range chicken at the restaurant, and I am always searching for ways to use the legs and thighs. Sometimes they end up in sausage or in a small plate to serve in our lounge. But other times, they inspire my version of a classic French bistro dish. Feel free to substitute dry white wine for the red, and you’ll have coq au vin blanc. This recipe is courtesy of Heartland: Farm-Forward Dishes from the Great Midwest cookbook by Lenny Russo and Burgess Lea Press.

Add more or less chile peppers to the marinade, depending on how spicy you want your chicken to be.This recipe is courtesy of The Joy Kitchen.

Here’s my twist on chicken enchiladas. Red sauce is great and all, but sometimes you just need a change. I topped my enchiladas with a cilantro-pepita dressing and pico de gallo, but you can definitely turn up the heat level with some serrano or habanero peppers. Pepitas are green pumpkin seeds often used in Mexican cooking and can be found in the specialty foods aisle of the grocery store (try asking for pine nuts, and they should be nearby).Click here to see Cozy Comfort Food Recipes.

Thai-Style Chicken Legs

In a blender, combine the garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, vegetable oil, hoisin sauce, coriander, kosher salt and pepper blend until smooth. Arrange the pieces of chicken in a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken and turn to coat the pieces thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Light a grill. When the coals are covered with a light gray ash, push them to opposite sides of the grill and set a disposable drip pan in the center. If using a gas grill, turn off the center burners.

Arrange the chicken on the hot grate above the drip pan and away from the coals, skin side down. Cover and grill for 40 minutes or until the skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through. Transfer to plates and serve with Thai chili sauce.

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To bake this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken drumsticks/legs
  • Honey
  • Lemon pepper seasonings
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Liquid smoke
  • Salt

These simple ingredients guarantee mouthwatering results. The liquid smoke adds the BBQ flavors to the chicken, making them BBQ restaurants quality.


Before we get too deep into making air fryer chicken drumsticks, these aren’t chicken legs that are going to come out looking like they came out of a fried chicken bucket.

Using the air fryer, you’re cooking with hot air that circulates around the food to give you a crunchy and crisp exterior. That’s why it works great for frozen food like frozen chicken strips.

So for air fryer fried chicken legs, you use just a bit of oil or marinade and get a tender, juicy chicken leg with crispy skin that is just delicious!

It’s really simple to make though and that’s why I love using my air fryer! Easy to cook in and easy to clean up! Oh, and it saves time too! What more could we ask for as busy parents?

All you have to do when cooking chicken legs in the air fryer is make the marinade, coat the chicken, and cook in the air fryer! In no time at all, you’ll have a simple chicken main dish that pairs well with almost anything!


If you include the prep time for the marinade, this recipe takes just under an hour to make. But once you have the marinade made, it only takes about 20 minutes to get your chicken on the plate. While your chicken is cooking, you can work on a simple side dish like butter parmesan garlic corn or twice-baked mashed potatoes.

The basic steps for cooking any chicken in the air fryer is:

  1. Preheat the air fryer (if required by your model).
  2. Coat chicken in marinade or season chicken (another one of my favorite ways to make air fried chicken).
  3. Put the chicken in the air fryer without crowding the food (the air needs space to circulate around the food).
  4. Set a digital timer. If your air fryer has a dial timer, I suggest using a timer on your phone or some other digital timer for more accurate cook time.
  5. Cook the chicken legs.
  6. Check the internal temperature. Chicken should be cooked to 165° Fahrenheit. If it hasn’t reached that temperature, cooking for a few more minutes.

Those are the basics for pretty much all of my air fryer chicken recipes! It’s so simple that it allows you to easily play with flavors when you marinade or season before you cook the chicken!


If you’re new to using your air fryer or just need a few tips, here are some of the basics that I’ve learned along the way that give me the best-tasting food!

Don’t crowd the food.

I mentioned this above it’s important to give your pieces of chicken space from each other. If there is room for the hot air to circulate around the food, it will cook more quickly and more evenly.

Pat food dry.

If you’re cooking food that doesn’t have a breading on it, you will want to pat it dry before putting it into the air fryer. That will remove any water on them and help the food crisp rather than steam as it cooks. This is especially true with chicken.

Shake the basket.

Be sure to shake the basket a few times when you’re cooking smaller items like chicken wings, chicken nuggets, fries, etc. This will help you get more even cooking.

Adjust the temperature.

You don’t want to use too high of a temperature when cooking in your air fryer because you may just dry out your food.

If you’re cooking something you normally cook in the oven, I recommend that you air fry about 25-30 degrees lower and cook for about 20% less time than in the oven.

For example, if you have a recipe that calls for something to cook for 40 minutes at 425ºF, you could cook in the air fryer for about 32 minutes at 400ºF.

Use a digital thermometer.

You want to get a digital thermometer that is easy to read, especially for cooking meat in the air fryer. You want to check the internal temperature of your chicken, steak, and pork before eating.

Wash your air fryer regularly.

Don’t let your air fryer sit around dirty. Hand wash the basket and tray after every use. Any crumbs left behind will burn the next time you cook and can ruin your food.

Easy Peasy Chicken Legs

If you’re looking for a quick, cheap and kid-friendly recipe then Easy Peasy Chicken Legs is the dish for you. My kids love these chicken legs and I love them because they are so easy peasy to make. These chicken legs always turn out so crispy and golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside.


  • 14 whole Chicken Legs (Large Package)
  • Olive Oil (enough To Cover Legs Generously)
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Garlic Powder, To Taste


Preheat oven to 400F. Place chicken legs in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, enough to cover them all, generously. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss the legs around to make sure they all get coated with the oil and the seasoning. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours, turning them to ensure crispiness on all sides. When done remove from the oven, cool a bit and serve.

You can also bake the chicken legs on a cooking rack fits inside of your baking sheet.

How to bake chicken legs

It's a truly easy recipe. The oven does all the work! The detailed instructions are included in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:

1. Your first step is to arrange the chicken pieces in a rimmed baking dish large enough to fit them in a single layer. A 9 X 13-inch baking dish works, as does a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Now generously spray the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle it with the spices.

3. Bake until fully cooked. This should take 40-45 minutes in a 425°F oven, and you will probably need to loosely cover the chicken pieces with foil after the first 30 minutes.


    • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick about 2 1/2 lb. total)
    • Kosher salt
    • 4 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed
    • 1 red chile (such as Fresno), quartered lengthwise, seeds removed if desired
    • 3 bay leaves or 5 sprigs thyme
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • Country-style bread, toasted (for serving)

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Chicken legs with Alabama white sauce recipe

This creamy sauce for barbecued chicken is quite spicy with horseradish, pepper and chilli. You can reduce the quantities of each if you prefer less heat, but its beauty lies in its punchiness.


  • 6 chicken legs
  • 2 thick slices good bread, cubed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 6 vine tomatoes, halved
  • 2 x 80g (2.75oz) bags watercress
  • 1 pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 chicken legs
  • 2 thick slices good bread, cubed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 6 vine tomatoes, halved
  • 2 x 80g (2.75oz) bags watercress
  • 1 pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 chicken legs
  • 2 thick slices good bread, cubed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 6 vine tomatoes, halved
  • 2 x 80g (2.75oz) bags watercress
  • 1 pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200 ml mayonnaise
  • 100 ml cider vinegar
  • 0.5 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp hot horseradish sauce
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 7 fl oz mayonnaise
  • 3.5 fl oz cider vinegar
  • 0.5 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp hot horseradish sauce
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 0.8 cup mayonnaise
  • 0.4 cup cider vinegar
  • 0.5 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp hot horseradish sauce
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)


  • Cuisine: American
  • Recipe Type: Chicken
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 40 mins
  • Serves: 6


  1. Fire up the barbecue ready for direct and indirect cooking.
  2. Make a few deep slashes in the meat of each chicken leg and season with salt and pepper. Set onto the grill bars away from the fire and leave to cook indirectly, with the lid down, for a good 20 minutes, turning and rotating once or twice.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce by whisking together the mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, horseradish, crushed peppercorns and chilli flakes in a bowl. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Transfer half to a small serving bowl to use as a dressing for the finished dish. Take the other half to the barbecue and have a silicone pastry brush ready for basting.
  5. Tip the bread cubes into a fireproof pan (no wooden or plastic handles) and drizzle over 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Use the flat of a large knife to bruise the garlic cloves and add them to the pan with the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil onto the tomato halves and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Once the chicken has had its 20 minutes&rsquo cooking time, begin basting with the sauce. Brush all over regularly and keep cooking and turning for a further 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. When tested with a digital probe thermometer in the thickest part of the leg, it should read 74°C (165°F).
  7. When you start basting the chicken, set the pan of bread over the direct fire and cook until crisp and golden, tossing to cook evenly. Remove the croutons from the fire and set aside. At the same time, rest the tomato halves over the fire so they grill and soften, turning to cook both sides.
  8. To serve, scatter the watercress onto a large platter and top with the grilled tomatoes. Add the chicken legs and sprinkle over the croutons. Drizzle with some of the reserved sauce and serve the rest alongside.

This recipe is from Foolproof BBQ by Genevieve Taylor (Quadrille, £12.99). Photography ©Jason Ingram.

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384 Calories in Chicken leg with bone in and skin on.

Can i bake at lower temperature?
Yes you can. Bake for additional minutes if baking chicken legs at a lower temperature.

What is 165 Fahrenheit in Celsius

165 Fahrenheit is equivalent to 75 Celsius

Can i use drumstick for this recipe?

Yes. You can use drumstick and follow this recipe. You will get similar results
Can i cook chicken leg without the skin?

How to Store

They keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you need to store longer than that, put in ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When needed, bring out easy baked chicken legs from the freezer, thaw and heat.


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