Tender juicy baked chicken drumsticks– easiest and healthiest way to bake chicken legs in the oven with a unique lemon, mint and Greek yogurt marinade.
These baked chicken legs are one of my favorite healthy chicken recipes for dinner. Reason?
- easy to cook. Just marinate for 30 minutes and shove into the oven. Except for flipping halfway through cooking, you can leave them alone to cook for about 35 minutes.
- the herby, lemony marinade with yogurt just hugs the chicken, making it so JUICY and DELICIOUS!
- baked drumsticks use much less oil than frying, yet turn out brown and crispy on the outside while tender soft on the inside.
- so HEALTHY, so TASTY!
mint yogurt marinade for chicken drumsticks
- Mint is a great appetizer and natural stimulant.
- Mint is a calming and soothing herb used as a remedy for a host of health issues like indigestion, nausea, depression, memory loss, fatigue, headache, asthma, oral care and skincare problems, allergies and respiratory disorders.
- Regular consumption of mint also improves alertness and memory retention. Above all, it supports healthy cholesterol levels and aids weight loss. (source)
- Yogurt is the other ingredient in this recipe that helps with weight loss.
- Rich in important nutrients, protein and calcium, it strengthens the immune system, improves heart health and protects against osteoporosis.
- It also contains live bacteria or probiotic that promotes digestive health. (source)
how to make the chicken marinade
(full printable recipe at the bottom of the post)
Blend all ingredients– mint, shallots, ginger, garlic, chili, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, oil and salt until smooth.
preparing the chicken legs for baking
Clean the chicken and remove the skin. Make a few slashes across the chicken drumsticks so they absorb the marinade better. This also helps to check if the chicken is cooked through.
should I remove the skin to bake chicken drumsticks?
Usually, chicken legs are cooked with their skin since it is believed that the fat from the skin keeps them flavorful and moist. Here we can achieve the same results with the amazing marinade made of yogurt and lime that help TENDERIZE the chicken. The chicken drumsticks absorb the marinade better and faster without the skin. So don’t believe when someone says chicken drumsticks MUST be baked with skin if you want them to be moist!
how long to marinate the chicken drumsticks?
Mix the chicken drumsticks with the marinade and leave it on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes. If you’re going to marinate longer, refrigerate the chicken and take it out about 15 minutes or until it reaches room temperature before baking. Marinating overnight will give the best results. The longer you marinate, the better.
how to cook chicken drumsticks in oven?
Place the chicken legs on a baking tray or sheet pan lined with parchment paper, such that they don’t touch each other. Drizzle olive oil all over the chicken and bake, flipping once in between.
how long does it take for drumsticks to cook in the oven?
The ideal temperature for this recipe would be 220°C/ 430°F. The cook time would vary between 35 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the drumsticks. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 75°C/ 165°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, the best way to check for doneness is to ensure that the chicken is no longer pink at the bone. Since we’ve already made cuts in the chicken, it’s easy to just poke through one of them to check.
can I use other cuts of chicken?
Other cuts of chicken can also be used for this recipe. The cook time will vary. Whole chicken legs will need 40 to 45 minutes and chicken thighs will need about 30 to 35 minutes. If you’re cooking breast, use the same marinade and follow the instructions on the recipe for oven-baked chicken breasts.
I hope I have answered all your questions on baking chicken drumsticks. If I haven’t, please mention in the comments below, I will be happy to help! If I have, then let me know how the recipe turned out for you. I would love to hear from you.
If this recipe is a winner, you might want to try some of our other healthy chicken recipes for dinner:
- easy 5 ingredient chicken curry
- oven-baked chicken breasts
- oven baked tandoori chicken
- lemon mustard chicken
- Asian stir-fried chicken with red rice
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