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Deep Fried or Pan Fried Chicken Legs

If you loved our copycat Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe but don’t want to bake in your oven at all, this is how to make deep fried chicken legs perfectly. Moist meat on the inside with crispy skin it will be your new favorite dinner idea.

Fried Chicken Legs

Fried chicken drumsticks are the bomb, especially when you have kids. We keep adding to our list of the best chicken leg recipes of all times, this is yet another. No sauce or rub necessary for this one, you can enjoy it right out of the pan once it cools down a bit. (affiliate links present)

Pan Fried Chicken Legs

Fried Chicken Seasoning is very important when it comes to all the flavors you imagine should be on the outside. If you don’t add anything it just won’t taste very good y’all. Instead add all the flavors you love. I always go for garlic all the things, paprika is great for breading and of course salt and pepper are a given. You could make it spicy too.

For that just add 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes if you like. We have used dry Sriracha at times too and recently have made jalapeno powder which OMG is delish. If you have a few other musts in your cupboard then by all means experiment with those on subsequent batches. Cooking for a crowd? Double this!

fried chicken seasoning

Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Ok so lets and drumsticks are the same thing. If you are on a budget you might be able to find chicken leg quarters cheaper at the store. Use those and just increase the cook time a bit since they have the thigh attached too. I love those since you get even more dark meat for hungry eaters.

Now since we are using a wetter batter than just an egg wash and breadcrumbs it wouldn’t work well in the oven or air crisped. If you wanted a lower fat version such as the latter you should instead use our air fryer fried chicken recipe here. Same great taste but the outside isn’t quite as wet or thick.

How Long to Fry Chicken with Flour

To get the outside to stick nicely you will need a milk and egg mixture. If you need dairy free you could use plain almond milk or even coconut milk. This is how to bread chicken without eggs if that is an issue as well. You can tweak it for your dietary needs, just know that the flavor will be altered subtly if done so.

You can also make a tempura batter type of coating like we did with our deep fried wings here.

cast iron fried chicken

How Long to Deep Fry Chicken Legs

You’re going to need 12-16 minutes or so. There will be a variance because some are larger than others. I always suggest using medium sizes. We prefer the texture and health benefits of organic free range poultry but that is up to you. Fried butterflied chicken legs would take a bit less time since they are sliced and thinner.

  • 8 chicken legs
  • 1.5 c all purpose flour
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Onion powder and chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • 2 c buttermilk
  • Eggs
What is the best oil for fried chicken?

#1 is vegetable oil, the most commonly used. It doesn’t really have a flavor so your meat and seasonings will really shine through. #2 peanut oil works great but will have a flavor to it you may not want for your dish, it also isn’t safe for those with an allergy. #3 Coconut oil has one of the highest smoke points at 450 degrees.

I do use olive oil for all the things but not for frying. It has quite a strong flavor and won’t work well for your chicken pieces. Just use that to make your side dishes like fried green beans, breaded zucchini, or cauliflower in your air fryer. In spray form it is great to crisp all the things.

How Long to Fry Chicken with Flour

Pan Fried Chicken Leg and Thighs

You could do this same thing with boneless or bone-in chicken thighs. Those would take almost exactly the same time unless of course yours are huge.

  • Mix together flour and 11 spices and seasonings. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and eggs and whisk well to combine.
  • Add the chicken leg in dairy and egg mixture and dredge well, coating completely.
  • Place into the flour and seasoning mixture and coat well.
  • Repeat, returning the chicken leg to the milk mixture and the flour mixture and placing onto a plate to rest.
  • Continue to cook chicken legs a few at a time and let stand for 5 minutes more to rest.
  • Heat about 1″ of oil into a skillet until hot.
  • Place chicken legs into the skillet, keeping space between each, and working in batches if your skillet isn’t large enough.

Fry chicken legs on each side for about 4 minutes at a time, flipping over several times. Total cooking time will be about 12-16 minutes until outside is golden brown and internal temperature is 165 degrees. When done set on a few paper towels folded together to absorb the excess oil.

How Long to Deep Fry Chicken Legs

Fried Chicken Legs in Cast Iron Skillet

All in all this is going to take you a good 30 minutes to make. A bit longer if making mock chicken legs. Remember that the oil needs to get hot before you ever add your piece(s). You never want to let it sit in the oil any longer than necessary. It will begin to absorb it and the coating will fall off and become a disaster of a mess.

Fried Chicken Oil Temp

So what is the ideal temperature of the oil you should reach before you get started? 350 degrees F is it!! You can use a meat thermometer for this. Be patient until it gets to this point and then adjust so it stays steady right there and doesn’t continue to rise. If it does you’re likely to burn the outsides and that would be tragic.

Perfect pan fried chicken drumsticks and whole fried chicken are both made this way, just take my word for it y’all. What I do is heat the oil and once it is about 300 degrees start to bread and coat the outsides. Then it has a bit of time to rest on a pan, coated, and it should be ready shortly after that.

Pan Fried Chicken Legs

How do you eat leftover fried chicken?

Ok so you know how I hate wasting food. If you don’t eat it all it can be saved and rescued in the next 3 days. Store in a freezer bag free from air in the fridge. Ideally reheat within the next 24 hours. Then you have got to reheat chicken in air fryer, PERIOD! If you want to fix the softer outsides this is the only way to go.

You can alternatively strip the meat off of the bones and chop up. Then use that in one of our leftover chicken recipes for another new meal.

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Fried Chicken Legs
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Fried Chicken Legs

This is how to make deep fried chicken legs perfectly. Moist meat on the inside with crispy skin it will be your new favorite dinner idea.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken drumsticks, chicken legs, copycat, deep fried, fried, kentucky fried chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 420kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

  • 1 cast iron skillet

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix together flour and 11 spices and seasonings. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and eggs and whisk well to combine.
  • Dredge each chicken leg in buttermilk and egg mixture, coating completely. Place into the flour and seasoning mixture and coat well. Repeat, returning the chicken leg to the milk mixture and the flour mixture and placing onto a plate to rest.
  • Continue with remaining chicken legs and let stand for 5 minutes more to rest.
  • Heat about 1" of oil into a skillet until hot and 350 degrees F. Place chicken legs into the skillet, keeping space between each, and working in batches if your skillet isn't large enough.
  • Fry chicken legs on each side for about 4 minutes at a time, flipping over several times. Total cooking time will be about 12-16 minutes until outside is golden brown and internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  • When done set on a few paper towels folded together to absorb the excess oil.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Fried Chicken Legs
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 420 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 167mg56%
Sodium 1065mg46%
Potassium 416mg12%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 785IU16%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 100mg10%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Fried Chicken Legs recipe
Recipe Rating




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Charli

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

I never use "vegetable oil" for anything because it is soy and soy is a much more prevalent allergen than peanut, or any other kind, because it is in everything and most people have developed intolerances to soy (especially stomach distress) and don't even realize it is the soy causing the problem. I prefer sunflower oil, though your coconut oil idea is a good one too. I look forward to using your recipe and thank you for all of the recipes you share. Thank you!

kc

Monday 7th of August 2023

Thxs for the recipe.. it was super easy and my guy loved it . The only thing I changed was I used almond milk with a tbl spoon of vinegar.. with definitely use again..thank you

The Typical Mom

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

Oh yay!

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