What's there not to love about chicken drumsticks?
They're dark meat (more flavor), relatively inexpensive (certainly compared to boneless skinless breasts), they cook up quickly (half an hour in the oven), and you can save the leftover bones for making stock.
They're kid-friendly (have you ever met a kid who didn't like drumsticks?) and they even come with built-in nifty handles (so you can eat like King Henry VIII).
Ways to Make Baked and Breaded Chicken
There are many ways to do breaded and baked drumsticks. This particular recipe uses a mayonnaise and mustard mixture as a first coating, then some breadcrumbs with chives for the breadcrumb coating.
You could just as easily use a beaten egg for the first coat (you need something for the breadcrumbs to adhere to), and a mixture of breadcrumbs, panko, grated Parmesan, lemon zest, tarragon, or thyme for the bread crumb coating.
You can also brown the drumsticks first on the stovetop and then transfer the pan to the oven (helps to use a cast iron pan if doing it this way).
Do you have a favorite way to prepare breaded drumsticks? A favorite breadcrumb coating combination? If so, please let us know about it in the comments.
Tips to Help Your Breading Stick
It's not hard to make sure breading sticks to drumsticks, but it does take making sure you follow a few easy steps.
- Start with fully defrosted chicken drumsticks.
- Remove excess moisture from the drumsticks by patting them dry with paper towels. This is the most important tip. If your drumsticks are wet, the breading will slide off.
- Coat the drumsticks in a thin layer of flour before dipping in the mayonnaise mixture in Step 4 to absorb any excess moisture the paper towels did not remove.
- After coating the drumsticks in the mayonnaise and breadcrumb mixtures in Step 4, cover the drumsticks and place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and set the breading. This is not a necessary step, but it can help the breading stick to the chicken.
Time and Temperature Variations to Consider
The cooking time for these drumsticks will depend on the size of your drumsticks, so the baking time in Step 4 is given as a range of 25 to 45 minutes. Larger drumsticks will take longer to bake. Other factors include the shape and color of the pan you are using, and the accuracy of your oven's temperature.
To ensure the chicken is fully cooked, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the largest drumstick should read 165°F. If you don't have a thermometer, cut open the thickest part of one of the drumsticks and look inside. The meat should be opaque and firm, not rubbery.
Alternative Breadcrumbs to Use with This Recipe
This recipe calls for using dry breadcrumbs, but several other types of breading can be used that will also result in crispy, flavorful baked drumsticks. Try one of these choices.
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Cornflakes, crushed well or processed in a food processor until they are fine crumbs
- Tortilla chips, crushed well or processed in a food processor until they are fine crumbs
- A combination of rice flour and corn flour, a gluten-free option
- Saltines or buttery round crackers, crushed well or processed in a food processor until they are fine crumbs
- Homemade breadcrumbs
How to Store and Reheat Chicken Drumsticks
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze, place the baked drumsticks on a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer, uncovered, until they are just frozen though. Place the frozen drumsticks in a zip top bag, seal, and freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator before reheating.
To reheat the drumsticks, bake in the oven at 350°F until heated through.
The leftover, fully cooked chicken drumsticks are also enjoyable cold, straight from the refrigerator.
Need More Chicken Recipes? Try One of These Favorites
- Classic Baked Chicken
- Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Easy BBQ Chicken in the Oven
- Herbed Chicken Tenders with Tomato Sauce
- Goldfish Chicken Tenders
Breaded and Baked Chicken Drumsticks
Recipe adapted from a <a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Deviled-Drumsticks-104824">Deviled Drumsticks recipe</a> in Bon Appetit, March 2001.
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Dijon or whole grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or green onion greens
- Kosher salt
- 6 large chicken drumsticks, about 1 1/3 lbs
- Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven, prepare pan:
Place rack on upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat the bottom of a shallow roasting pan or baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil.
Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Mix together the breadcrumbs and minced chives in a separate medium bowl.
Dip drumsticks in coatings:
Sprinkle each drumstick with salt. One by one, dip each drumstick in the mayonnaise mixture, turning to coat. Then dip the drumstick in the breadcrumbs mixture, turning to coat. Place the drumsticks on the prepared roasting pan.
Bake chicken at 425°F for 25 to 45 minutes, until just cooked through when a meat thermometer in the thickest part of one of the drumsticks reads 165°F. Or, cut into the thickest part of one of the drumsticks to ensure it's opaque and firm, not rubbery.