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How to Bake Boiled Chicken Legs in the Oven

author image Fred Decker
Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
How to Bake Boiled Chicken Legs in the Oven
Dropping chicken legs onto a baking pan. Photo Credit: Howard Shooter/Dorling Kindersley RF/Getty Images

Many cooks have difficulty finding just the right degree of doneness with chicken legs. If you're going to bake or roast them in the oven, grill them or broil them, it's all too easy to end up with chicken that's blackened on the outside, but still raw or undercooked near the bone. Par-cooking the legs by simmering -- not boiling them -- in hot water can help prevent this by shortening their cooking time once you put the chicken legs in your oven. As a bonus, it also cooks away part of the fat from the chicken legs.

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Step 1

Place your chicken legs in a pot large enough to hold them without crowding. Cover them with water or chicken broth, and move the pot to your stove top.

Step 2

Bring the pot to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down until the chicken legs are just simmering, not boiling. Poach the legs for 10 minutes, moving them periodically with a pair of tongs to ensure even cooking.

Step 3

Remove the chicken legs to a colander with tongs, not a fork, to prevent puncturing them and losing their juices. Let the legs drain for 5 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer the chicken legs to a baking sheet or casserole dish, and season them with salt and pepper. Add any extra flavorings or sauces at this point.

Step 5

Slide the sheet pan into an oven preheated to 400 F. Bake the chicken legs for 15 to 20 minutes, until their juices run clear or their internal temperature reaches 160 F when tested with a thermometer. Serve hot.

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