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Chicken Legs In Air Fryer (The Recipe)

Cooking in an air fryer has become a trend in my house. I love to try amazing recipes in my air fryer. Protein intake is an essential part of my day. Therefore, chicken recipes are my new favorite!

Chicken legs are cooked to ultimate perfection in an air fryer and seasoned with a basic concoction of ingredients. They came out with an addictive crispy shell and tasted incredibly juicy.

To cook astonishingly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside chicken legs you’ll need:

  • Chicken legs
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Crushed Mustard and a dash of Cayenne.

Combine all the ingredients in a zip bag, and then add the 6 chicken legs. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Let it marinate for 50 minutes. In case you can leave it overnight, that’ll be amazing!

Cook at 400 F for 20 minutes or until it reaches the safe internal temperature of 165 F.

This was a basic recipe for making chicken legs.

In the article below, you’ll find the recipe that I created with some amendments in the ingredients for making crispy chicken legs in air fryers. Plus, I’ll talk about the relatable queries that will be helpful to you.

Let’s get to it.

Ingredients Needed To Make Air Fried Chicken

We need to normalize eating chicken legs rather than sticking to drumsticks only. Chicken legs aren’t just delicious but extremely nutritious too.

Protein, nutrients, and vitamins are abundant in chicken legs. It’s a complete dinner meal with 30 minutes of cooking time!

The following ingredients are required to make the next level recipe:

  1. Dark Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar has more molasses and a stronger flavor than brown sugar. This gives the chicken a delicious taste and facilitates easier caramelization.
  2. Smoked paprika: It gives a perfect sweet and sour balance.
  3. Dry mustard powder: It enhances the acidity of chicken legs.
  4. Salt & Pepper: It’s always essential; you can’t start any recipe without it.
  5. Cayenne: It gives you an ideal spice level.
Drumsticks in air fryer
Chicken drumsticks

What Are The Guidelines For Making Air-Fried Chicken Legs?

These are important steps to remember while making chicken legs in an air fryer.

Step 1: First, dry the chicken legs before putting them in a big basin.

Step 2: To get crisp skin, dry the chicken legs with paper towels. Then transfer it to the bigger basin. After that, drizzle some olive oil.

Step 3: Mix the dry rub ingredients with the chicken in a small bowl. To uniformly distribute the seasoning, sprinkle it over the chicken legs and rub thoroughly.

Step 4: Put the chicken legs in the air fryer basket. Give them 10 minutes of air frying at 400 degrees F. Air fry for another 8 minutes on the opposite side.

Note: Don’t forget to use gloves while handling the air fryer.

After five minutes of rest, serve the chicken legs with mint yogurt or garlic mayo sauce!

You don’t need the paper liner for this recipe. Check this article here to know more about the use of paper liners in an air fryer.

How Long Does It Take To Air Fry A Chicken Leg?

To perfectly air fry chicken leg, you need 18-20 minutes. Preheating the air fryer is a good idea to save time!

In the air fryer, arrange the chicken legs in a single layer. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn it over and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. You can carry on until a digital meat thermometer reads 165 degrees for the internal temperature of your chicken.

An amazingly good dinner is created when the time, temperature, and seasoning all work together!

whole chicken in air fryer
An instant thermometer is used to check whether the chicken is cooked well.

How to Season Chicken Drumsticks for the Air Fryer?

Marination can greatly enhance the flavor of the chicken. The five essential components of an excellent marinade are salt, spice, sweet, acid, umami, and orange peels. Adding herbs also gives the chicken a wonderful touch.

Marinating chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours is recommended. The meat will degrade after 12 hours, especially when using citrus juice in the marinade.

There are multiple ways to season your drumsticks or chicken legs. Sharing my favorite one here:

An orange marinade for chicken: Honey-orange Juice and soy sauce are the key ingredients for this marinade. Mix all the marinade’s components thoroughly. Rub on the chicken’s legs and leave it for 30 minutes.

The marination of spices locks essential flavors on the meat’s skin so that every bite tastes delicious.

What Nutrients Do Air Fried-Chicken Legs Have?

Air-fried chicken legs are not only tasty but nutritious too. I’ve listed the nutrient count in the table below:

NutrientsCalorie Count
Carbohydrates1g
Proteins11g
Fat11g
Cholesterol60mg
Sugar1g
Iron1mg
Fiber1g
Nutrient breakdown of chicken legs

Can You Use An Air Fryer To Cook Raw Drumsticks?

Yes, you can make raw drumsticks in your air fryers! To do that:

  1. Coat the drumsticks and toss them with olive oil.
  2. To evenly coat the chicken with the seasonings, sprinkle the considerable amount of ingredients on and rub on the skin.
  3. Spray oil as per need. Olive oil aids in the seasonings’ adhesion to the chicken.
  4. Add the chicken drumsticks to the air fryer basket in a single layer with space between them. (cook in batches as needed).
  5. Cook for 12 minutes in the air fryer at 380°F and serve.

I have a Cosori 5.8-quart air fryer, and I can fit eight drumsticks in it at once, enough to feed four people. This recipe can be scaled up or down, and you can cook the drumsticks in batches if necessary.

whole chicken in an air fryer basket.
The whole chicken is air fried with so much ease!

Can Chicken Legs Be Stacked In An Air Fryer?

Stacking chicken legs in air fryers is not at all recommended. Lay the chicken legs out in a single layer and cook them that way.

If necessary, place them slightly touching, but don’t stack them. There should be proper air circulation to prevent undercooked chicken.

You can use paper towels to dry the chicken.

Pro Tip:

Make sure you first pat the chicken legs dry. Season with salt and pepper, then spritz (or combine and massage over legs).

In the first 10 minutes of cooking, take the basket out by the handle to inspect the chicken’s progress. Ensure the legs are flat and have some room between them.

Because there are so many shapes and sizes of air fryers, each one cooks differently. Give them space because more chicken legs will take longer to cook.

Recipe for Juicy air-fried chicken legs

Recipe Hints & Tips

A have added a few hints and tips below for your benefit.

  • To eliminate any excess moisture on the skin’s surface, pat the chicken legs dry using paper towels. This ensures even crispier chicken skin.
  • You only need a small amount of oil. If you use too much oil, your skin will become greasy.
  • You can also use your favorite marinade or store-bought dry rub to season the chicken legs. However, if you want crispy skin, avoid marinades because they add too much moisture, making it harder for the skin to crisp up.
  • Don’t overfill the basket. The air fryer works by circulating hot air in a tiny, enclosed environment. When there isn’t enough room for air to flow, food tends to cook unevenly.

How to Serve Air Fryer Chicken Legs?

I like to accompany chicken legs with a fresh green salad, a tomato salad, or even a fruit salad.

If I’m craving something heartier, I’ll usually add a baked potato or buttery mashed potatoes.

Air Fryer Chicken Legs are a simple and tasty dinner preparation that both kids and adults alike. Cooking chicken legs in the air fryer for 20 minutes with olive oil and seasonings results in the most flawlessly crisp, tasty skin.

Final Thoughts

I want to give a quick wrap-up of the recipe:

  • You need chicken legs, seasonings, salt, and pepper to start the procedure. Pat dry the chicken legs with a paper towel.
  • Then combine all the ingredients and add soy sauce, chili sauce, corn flour, paprika, and oregano. Put the ingredients, as well as the chicken legs, into the zip bag. (First, the chicken legs go for roasting, then the ingredients.
  • After that, refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Air fry for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Halfway through the recipe, switch sides. 
  • That’s a quick overview of air frying drumsticks or chicken legs. Do try them out. It’ll be crunchy and delicious with no compromise on health and calories.

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