Crispy Baked Chicken Legs

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Tender and juicy chicken every time
  • Easy to make with only 10 minutes of prep
  • Versatile and customizable with your favorite seasonings
  • Budget-friendly cut of chicken


  • 8-10 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or green onion (optional, for serving)


  1. Prepare the chicken: Pat the chicken legs dry and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil.
  2. Make the seasoning: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne (if using).
  3. Season the chicken: Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  4. Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  5. Bake the chicken: Arrange the chicken legs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  6. Rest and serve: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cilantro or green onion, if desired.

Recipe Variations:

  • Sweet and Savory: Add your favorite herbs and spices to the seasoning blend.
  • Orange Chicken: Use orange juice and zest in the seasoning.
  • Honey Garlic: Use honey and garlic in the seasoning.
  • Cajun: Rub the chicken legs with Cajun seasoning.

What to Serve with Baked Chicken Legs:

  • Coleslaw
  • Potato salad
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Roasted vegetables


  • Dry the chicken well before seasoning to ensure crispy skin.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature for safety.
  • Let the chicken rest before serving for maximum juiciness.


Hi! I’m Debbi!

I am no chef, I am just a mom who loves to eat good food. I enjoy making healthy, low calorie meals without compromising taste. It’s not all healthy here but I do try!


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