Chicken drumsticks are a favorite of children due to their built-in handle, which makes them easy to pick up and enjoy. As you get older you might move on to other cuts of chicken. Drumsticks are generally a very cost-effective cut of chicken, which makes them a budget-friendly protein for family meals. Drumsticks are commonly fried but baking them helps to maintain more of their health benefits and reduces the amount of fat contained when you fry them.
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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse off the drumsticks with cool water and use a paper towel to blot off extra water. It is important to clean meat before cooking it to remove any surface bacteria or dirt. In addition, removing the extra water is important because it helps seasonings to stick to the surface of the chicken better.
Use a kitchen brush to lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the drumstick. This oil will help the skin on the chicken to crisp slightly and it adds flavor and moisture to the chicken while it cooks.
Sprinkle each drumstick on both sides with salt and pepper. If you enjoy the natural flavor of the drumsticks, salt and pepper may be sufficient. However, if you want to add some additional flavor to the chicken you can add a seasoning such as Cajun seasoning, paprika, lemon pepper, cumin, Italian seasoning or curry powder to the chicken.
Arrange the drumsticks in the casserole pan next to each other with as much space in-between each one as space will allow. Cover the drumsticks with foil or the lid to the casserole pan if there is one. Place the casserole pan in the oven on the lower rack.
Cook the drumsticks covered for approximately 25 minutes. Cooking them covered helps them to remain moist and the internal heat helps to cook them thoroughly. After approximately 25 minutes, remove the cover and continue cooking for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. This will allow the skin on the drumsticks to brown and crisp slightly. Cook until juices are clear when lightly pierced with a fork.
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Additional seasonings (optional)
For added flavor, brush barbecue or teriyaki sauce on the drumsticks and place back in the oven for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
Oven temperatures vary so it is important to monitor the progress of the chicken while it is cooking.
When cooking fewer drumsticks, such as 4 to 6, the cooking time can be lessened significantly. Cooking 14 to 16 drumsticks takes about an hour.