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Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks | RecipeTin Eats

Oven baked crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks. Great seasoning, great crispy exterior, juicy flesh. Tastes like KFC! Plus, my tips for how to crumb the chicken without making an epic mess of your hands. No more marshmallow fingers!

Photo of Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks

Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks

I have a soft spot for chicken legs. Juicier and more flavourful than lean chicken breast, and more economical at that. With the bonus that there’s something extra enjoyable about food that has to be eaten with your hands.

Nobody eats drumsticks with a fork and knife, do they?? Surely not! Way too civilised and way too much meat wastage. There’s no way you can pick the bone clean of every scrap of meat with cutlery!!!

Hands all the way. GRAB and DEVOUR!

Holding Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks

Today’s drumsticks are fabulously crunchy all over, and very well seasoned so there’s no need to marinate it overnight. You can make it right now, for dinner tonight. And yours will be as gorgeously golden as you see in the photos as long as you’re generous with the oil spray. Spray, spray, spray!

Ingredients in crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks

The seasoning

The key to this recipe is a bold flavoured seasoning so there’s plenty of flavour in every bite even though we haven’t marinated the chicken. Here’s what you need – all pantry staples!

Ingredients in Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks

The spiciness comes from the chilli / cayenne pepper and a good amount of black pepper. There are adjustments in the recipe to make this kid friendly by either completely eliminating the spiciness or reducing it.

The crumbing

And here’s what you need for the crumb coating.

Ingredients in Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks
  • Chicken drumsticks aka chicken legs. If yours were frozen, thaw thoroughly and pat dry extra well else you will end up with soggy patches.

  • Egg and flour – the glue for the breadcrumbs. (PS I thought 2 eggs was enough but actually, we need 3.)

  • Panko breadcrumbs – A Japanese breadcrumb favoured for the extra-crispy coating it gives crumbed foods. You can buy it at most big supermarkets (AUS – Coles, Woolworths, Harris) in the Asian foods section and Asian stores (cheaper!). Substitute with regular breadcrumbs.

How to make crunchy crumbed drumsticks

I like to split the seasoning between the flour and the panko, for maximum flavour effect!

How to make Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks
  1. Seasoning – Mix the seasoning in a small bowl.

  2. Season flour and breadcrumbs – Use 1 tablespoon of the seasoning for the flour, then mix the rest in with the panko.

  3. Crumbing (without making a mess!)- Use one hand to coat a drumstick in the flour then shake off excess. Use the same hand to coat the drumstick in egg, then allow the excess to drip off. Still using the same hand, place the drumstick in the panko, then use your other hand to sprinkle with panko. Press to adhere, rotate and coat all over with panko. Place on rack. Marvel at clean(ish) hands!!

  4. Repeat with remaining drumsticks, lining them up so they are evenly spaced.

  5. Spray generously with canola or other oil. I like to use canola oil because it comes out like a foam so I can see where I’ve sprayed. (PS The more you spray, the more golden and crunchy the coating. So don’t hold back!)

  6. Bake for 25 minutes at 200°C/400°F (180°C fan). Flip drumsticks, spray again, then bake for a further 20 minutes or until gorgeously golden and crunchy. Let them cool for 5 minutes – which also gives the crumb a chance to “set” – then dive in!

Freshly cooked Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks
Holding Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks

What to serve with crunchy drumsticks

Gosh, there’s really no rules here. I had them with leftover Supreme Soy Noodles and Smashed Cucumbers on the day I made the recipe video. Certainly not obviously choices but it was still enjoyable! 😂

To keep your life easy, try serving this with what I call two-in-one-side dishes. These are sides that combine plenty of vegetables with starch in one dish so you can just serve that as the side rather than making a side salad plus a starch to fill out a meal.

Some personal two-in-one favourites include:

Enjoy! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Photo of Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks

Crunchy crumbed chicken drumsticks


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Recipe video above. Super crunchy baked drumsticks that are generously seasoned with an addictive zingy kick from black pepper and cayenne. It’s not blow-your-head off but it has a very warm buzz! Just omit the cayenne and reduce the pepper to make it kid friendly. It’s so seasoned you don’t need a sauce for dunking but if you want something quick but great, use my honey mustard or pink sauce – both recipes in the notes.


  • Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F (180°C fan). Place a rack on a foil lined tray. Spray rack with oil.

  • Crumbing bowls – Place the flour, whisked eggs and panko in 3 separate medium bowls (bear in mind shape to fit the drumsticks!).

  • Mix Seasoning in a small bowl. Put 1 tablespoon into the flour and the rest in the panko, then mix.

  • Crumb (Note 3 for mess-free hands technique!) Pat drumsticks dry with paper towels (crunchy coating insurance policy). Coat in flour (shake off excess), then egg (let excess drip off). Place in panko and rotate, pressing to adhere all over, including the handle.

  • Spray – Place drumstick on the rack. Repeat with remaining chicken. Spray very generously with oil.

  • Bake 25 minutes. Turn drumsticks, spray again with oil. Bake a further 20 minutes until golden brown and super crunchy!

  • Serve Eat and enjoy the CRUNCH!

Recipe Notes:

1. Panko breadcrumb – A Japanese breadcrumb favoured for the extra-crispy coating it gives crumbed foods. You can buy it at most big supermarkets (AUS – Coles, Woolworths, Harris) in the Asian foods section and Asian stores (cheaper!). Substitute with regular breadcrumbs.
2. Chilli powder – Not to be confused with US chili powder which is a store bought mix that’s not spicy. I’m talking about the pure chilli powder, 100% spiciness!
3. Mess-free crumbing technique: Use one hand to coat in flour and the egg, then use that same hand to place the drumstick into the panko bowl. Use your clean hand to sprinkle panko onto the drumstick, pressing to adhere. Make sure you cover the handle too so you can grasp it to rotate the drumstick and keep your hand mostly clean. Repeat – and marvel at clean(ish) hands!
4. Quick sauce options:

  • Honey mustard sauce: Mix together 1/3 cup whole-egg mayonnaise, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 2 tbsp honey, 1 – 2 tsp lemon juice (sub vinegar), salt and pepper.
  • Pink sauce – 1/2 cup (100g) sour cream + 3 tbsp ketchup
  • Ketchup, BBQ sauce or other store bought sauce of choice

5. Leftovers will keep for 3 days in the fridge. A quick blast in the oven will resurrect the crunchy coating to some degree.
Nutrition per drumstick, factors in residual breadcrumbs and flour.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 211cal (11%)Carbohydrates: 10g (3%)Protein: 17g (34%)Fat: 11g (17%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 131mg (44%)Sodium: 583mg (25%)Potassium: 249mg (7%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 326IU (7%)Vitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 53mg (5%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Life of Dozer

Dozer on move day. He was delighted to have so many new targets for treats – and he was rather successful, actually!

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