There is rarely anything wrong with a fried chicken recipe. Like pizza, even bad fried chicken is pretty okay. It’s true. But I love, love, love great fried chicken. We all have had those to-die-for-fried chicken recipes that we crave over and over again. I am no stranger to frying up delicious and crispy golden brown delicacies and fried chicken is just one of those things I know very well. And, these fried chicken drumsticks are so good and I know you will enjoy them as much as we do.
The beauty of fried chicken is it’s incredibly easy to make and (as I mentioned before) pretty hard to screw up. However, there are some pro tips to keep in mind when making fried chicken at home. So, along with this fantastic fried chicken drumsticks recipe, I also have some pointers to make your chicken taste better. These tips will also make things easier on you, the cook.
Before we get to the recipe below, I want to touch on all of the things that make this recipe work. I’ll share how to make a proper milk bath, what seasonings make the best tasting breading, what type of oil to use, how to dredge, and even how you can alter my recipe to add extra crispiness. There is a lot to cover, so let’s go!
The Right Seasonings
First off, the seasoning you use really makes or breaks your fried chicken drumsticks. Whatever else happens with your recipe, you want to make sure that flavor is on point. That comes from a properly seasoned breading mixture. My fried chicken drumsticks come with a little bit of heat from spices like paprika, black pepper, hot sauce, and of course, old faithful: Slap Ya Mama. These spices create a peppery blend that brings just enough heat to the dish to make it interesting. If you think that’s good, try it with honey!
Most of these ingredients are dry and go in with the dry mixture of flour. However, the hot sauce comes in twice. It goes in the egg mixture you’ll use when dredging your chicken. But first you’ll add some to the buttermilk which you’ll be soaking the chicken in while you let it refrigerate for a while. This lets the spice seep into the meat of the chicken and not just on the breading. When every layer of this dish contains a spice component, it makes the whole drumstick give a more cohesive flavor.
A Buttermilk Bath
The first stage in preparing your fried chicken drumsticks is to give them a buttermilk bath. This process can take almost a day if you let it. between 4-12 hours is what most recipes recommend. You can make this an overnight thing and start preparing it the day before you plan to cook, but it’s a little bit unnecessary. This is one area where I feel it’s okay to compromise.
Although the longer you let it marinate the more the acid in the buttermilk will tenderize the chicken, you can get away with only a couple of hours. I like the leeway because we don’t all have that kind of time to prepare and you should never let that get in the way of good fried chicken drumsticks.
How to Bread Fried Chicken
The dredging station you set up is what the whole cooking process will hinge on. It’s easy to do, but you can make things really hard on yourself if you aren’t careful. Regular readers know how important dredging is to me and how messy it can be if you aren’t mindful of your process. The biggest tip I can offer you here is to always keep one dry hand and one wet hand. Never use a dry hand with the wet ingredients or a wet hand with the dry ingredients. The process is naturally messy, but it can get out of hand really quickly if you aren’t deliberately trying to keep these things apart from one another.
This recipe requires you to coat wet chicken with dry flour. Then, you need to coat it in an egg mixture before once again covering it with another dry flour mixture. It all works out for the best, but there may be a lot of cleaning somebody has to do when you are done.
What Does Smoke Point Mean?
Another thing I want to address here is the smoke point. If you don’t know about the smoke point, it’s simply the temperature at which an oil will begin to smoke. Oils fall on a spectrum with some burning faster and others slower. If it burns too fast you’ll need to open a window. Some cooks like to cook in oil with a higher smoke point such as peanut oil (Chick-Fil-A) or sunflower oil (In-N-Out). Good ol’ vegetable oil will do the trick as its smoke point goes beyond the appropriate temperature for frying. A good trick is to look for refined oil. Unrefined oils, even those mentioned, won’t withstand the temperature needed to properly fry the chicken.
Original or Extra Crispy?
One last thing I’ll add is a quick tip for making your fried chicken drumsticks extra crispy. The recipe here is plenty crispy and provides an excellent breaded “shell” around the chicken, but if you really like to have more crunch to your chicken, with a really crispy skin, that’s easy to do also. All it takes is some corn starch to add to the dry ingredients. Corn starch is the secret ingredient in any extra crispy fried chicken recipe.
To incorporate the cornstarch and make your breading crispier than usual just cut out the desired amount of flour and replace it with the corn starch. You can be conservative and take out only ¼ of the flour, replacing it with the same amount of corn starch. However, if you really want to make these fried chicken drumsticks crunch, you may prefer a straight-down-the-middle 50/50 blend.
The texture of the fried chicken is important to get right. Once you nail the perfect blend and get the seasoning mix just right, your fried chicken will be an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.
Fried Chicken Drumsticks Ingredients
- Chicken drumsticks
- Hot sauce
- All purpose flour
- Slap Ya Mama
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Vegetable oil, olive oil, peanut oil or canola oil
How To Make Fried Chicken Drumsticks
Step 1 – Prep
Place drumsticks into a large bowl. Mix buttermilk and hot sauce together and then pour over the chicken legs. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
Step 2 – Setting up the Dredging Station
To set up the dredging station, place 3 shallow containers side by side.
- Add 1½ cups of flour in the first container.
- Whisk eggs, water and hot sauce in the second container.
- And whisk the remaining flour, seasonings and pepper to the third container.
Step 3 – Coat and Cook the Chicken
Heat oil or high heat. Add drumsticks, a small batch at a time into the flour, then into the egg mixture and then into the seasoned flour mixture. Place coated chicken into the hot oil and cook until golden brown on all sides and, using a thermometer, the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from pan and place chicken pieces on a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels while frying the remaining pieces of chicken.
Try This Delicious Fried Chicken Legs Recipe Today
Looking for More Delicious Chicken Recipes?
Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips – These pecan crusted chicken strips are fried, are tender and juicy on the inside, and have a delicious chopped pecan coating. Then they are drizzled with honey. A sweet and savory chicken strips recipe the whole family will enjoy.
Southwest Chicken Wraps – These deliciously seasoned grilled chicken strips are placed in flour tortillas and topped with a delicious corn salsa, onions and peppers, and topped with an avocado ranch dressing.
Buffalo chicken Sliders – Crispy, zesty buffalo-style fried chicken breasts are topped with delicious, melty cheese, placed on Hawaiian rolls, and then broiled to perfection. It’s a recipe that has everyone begging for more.
And here’s a scrumptious and popular Malibu Chicken from Great Grub, Delicious Treats you might love too!
Fried Chicken Drumsticks
For the Chicken
- Place chicken in a large bowl.
- Mix buttermilk and hot sauce together and pour over drumsticks.
- Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
For The Dredging Stations
- Set up dredging station with 3 containers.
- Add 1 ½ cups of flour to the first container.
- Whisk eggs, water and hot sauce to the second container.
- And whisk remaining flour, seasonings and pepper to the third container.
- Add drumsticks, a few at a time, into the flour, then into the egg mixture and then into the seasoned flour mixture.
- Heat oil over medium high heat.
- Place coated chicken into hot oil and cook until golden brown on all sides and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove from pan and place chicken on a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels while frying the remaining chicken.
- Enjoy with a side salad, potato salad, macaroni salad or your favorite side dishes.
Here are a couple pics you can “pin” to your favorite Pinterest boards.