Super Crunchy Oven Fried Drumsticks

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SUPER CRUNCHY OVEN FRIED DRUMSTICKS - Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. (Can be served warm, cold or room temp with convenient advance prep options.)

Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. May be served warm, cold or room temperature-and note the helpful advance prep tips.🍗

 

 

 

There’s something so satisfying about biting into a crunchy piece of fried chicken. (As I type, my mouth is literally watering at the thought!) But I’m guessing this decadent dish isn’t something most of us enjoy on a regular basis.

We know fried chicken isn’t the healthiest meal, of course-plus it’s sort of a splattery mess to make!

But what if we could make this classic Southern a smidge healthier AND easier to make-and perhaps even a little bit tastier?

SUPER CRUNCHY OVEN FRIED DRUMSTICKS - Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. (Can be served warm, cold or room temp with convenient advance prep options.)

My family lights up when I make the following recipe, which is as well suited to casual Sunday suppers as it is to summer picnics and potlucks, fall football parties and tailgating, birthday celebrations and easy-to-pack lunches.

There’s hardly a time when biting into one of these crunchy drumsticks wouldn’t be perfect! For the sake of entertaining, the recipe is easy to scale and several advance prep options provide welcome convenience to the cook.

My connection to this recipe stems from a trip to the Sargento headquarters outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in April of 2013. Sargento was hosting a small group of people who worked in the food industry to kick off work on a year-long project for the company.

While there, I met Cathy Pollak, owner of the Noble Pig vineyard and boutique winery in McMinnville, Oregon, and author of a food blog by the same name.

Like me, Cathy has fun with her food. The first of Cathy’s recipes I tried was what I call Lucky Cake, also known as Peanut Butter Chip Cake, which oddly enough, is a cake with sauerkraut in it. (Side note: despite what it may seem, it’s a wonderful dessert. The sauerkraut cannot be detected-it simply adds moisture like zucchini does in quick bread-and is a perfect way for those who don’t typically enjoy this food to get their dose of good luck on New Year’s Day!)

So when I saw Cathy’s baked drumstick recipe, which was encrusted in a crumb mixture that included crushed potato chips and promised crunch with no fryer, I was intrigued. Cathy typically makes four times as much as the recipe yield below, as the crowd-pleasing drumsticks are well-suited to all sorts of entertaining.

SUPER CRUNCHY OVEN FRIED DRUMSTICKS - Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. (Can be served warm, cold or room temp with convenient advance prep options.)

For added appeal, I’ve applied the advance prep trick I use in my crispy buffalo chicken wing recipe to this recipe, and the option provides welcome convenience-and, believe it or not, even crispier skin.

After you prepare the crumb mixture ⇧⇧ (it can be readied well in advance, too) and the drumsticks have been coated in it⇩⇩, you may refrigerate the drumsticks, uncovered, for several hours or up to all day. While the prepared chicken is waiting until you’re ready to bake it, the cool, dry air of the fridge dries the skin out a bit, and less moisture in the skin equals crisper skin.

(Note: I’ve refrigerated the linked wing recipe overnight, and while I think that length of time would work with this recipe as well, I haven’t tried to officially guarantee. If you do try, please comment!)

SUPER CRUNCHY OVEN FRIED DRUMSTICKS - Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. (Can be served warm, cold or room temp with convenient advance prep options.)

I served the pictured batch with a bowl of Cumin Lime Slaw, to which I added a few extras-roasted pepitas, crisp tortilla strips and slivered red bell pepper. Black beans offer another complementary addition, and would supply extra protein and fiber to this flavorful, quick-and-easy slaw.

SUPER CRUNCHY OVEN FRIED DRUMSTICKS - Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. (Can be served warm, cold or room temp with convenient advance prep options.)

These drumsticks became a fast favorite with my family after the very first crunchy bite. I’m hopeful that they may become a favorite in your house, too. If you try, I’d love to know what you think!

SUPER CRUNCHY OVEN FRIED DRUMSTICKS - Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. (Can be served warm, cold or room temp with convenient advance prep options.)

Super Crunchy Oven Fried Drumsticks
Yield: about 10 drumsticks (recipe easy to multiply; see notes)
Crispy, crunchy and no fryer needed! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, kids’ parties, family dinners, packed lunches and more. May be served warm, cold or room temperature-and note the helpful advance prep tips.
Ingredients
  • 2½ pounds skin-on chicken drumsticks*
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ an 8-ounce bag potato chips** (I like Lay’s Classic for these)
  • ⅓ cup (50g) Bisquick (may use gluten-free Bisquick or this homemade option)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray or mister
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400℉ for a regular oven or 375℉ for a convection oven. Lightly grease a large, rimmed baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. (If using foil, lightly grease that.)  Set aside.

Add the potato chips and Bisquick to the bowl of a food processor and process into a nice crumb mixture. (Depending on the size of your food processor bowl you may need to add the chips in batches.) Place the mixture into a large plastic bag, add the pepper and give it a shake to incorporate. Set aside. (Prep ahead tip: Crumb mixture may be prepared several days in advance and stored in an airtight container.)

Using your hands, slather each drumstick with mayonnaise. (Two tablespoons doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s just enough to lightly coat 10 or so drumsticks.) Drop a drumstick into the plastic bag with chip mixture, and shake vigorously to completely coat. Repeat until all drumsticks have been coated.

As you coat the drumsticks, place them on the prepared baking sheet. (Prep ahead tip: After coating all of the drumsticks, you may refrigerate, uncovered, for 8 hours or so. This actually helps dry the skin and improve crispness.)

Mist the chicken with the cooking spray. Bake for 35-40 minutes, and then remove from the oven and turn the pieces over. Return to the oven and bake for another 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is nicely browned and cooked through. (Tip: I like drumsticks to be cooked beyond the usual recommendation of 165 degrees F, so I look for a nice, crusty, golden brown exterior and don’t worry if the internal temp exceeds this number. Drumsticks are hard to dry out and, I think, more tender when cooked well.)

 

Notes

*I’ve squeezed out 3½ pounds of chicken pieces with the same amount of topping ingredients. The last two pieces were lightly coated, so I recommend 3 pounds as an upper end if you’re trying to stretch.

**A kitchen scale is helpful as chips are hard to measure, but one rounded cup is about 1 ounce and is usually considered a single serving of chips. So figured on 4 rounded cups to achieve the necessary amount.

For a bigger batch: This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled. When using more than one baking sheet, be sure to rotate the pans to ensure even cooking. If using a convection setting, this is not necessary. For 4x the original recipe, you will need three baking sheets; a convection setting is helpful when cooking with this many baking sheets.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Linda Stoddard

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I normally don’t use drumsticks, I use thighs. Would they work? Would you bake them at the same temp, for the same amount of time? I would use bone in, skin on thighs.

    Thank you,
    Linda

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Linda, Where dark meat is concerned, I usually opt for thighs, too, but I do love these drumsticks! I have, however, included some thighs and they turn out quite well. When doing so, I bake them right along with the drumsticks for the same amount of time. So if using all bone-in, skin-on thighs, follow the same cooking directions. Hope you enjoy!

      Reply