Air Fryer Chicken Legs

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Who doesn’t love some amazing, juicy, chicken legs for dinner? With the crispy skin and decadent flavor, they’re a dish made in heaven. To make some easily yourself, try this air fryer chicken legs recipe.

Chicken legs are one of the most popular cuts of chicken – especially on the keto diet. I have many air fryer fried chicken recipes that I love, including air fryer chicken wings, air fryer tenders, and these air fryer chicken drumsticks.

The dark meat in drumsticks is flavorful and higher in fat content compared to white meat. The best chicken drumsticks are made in the air fryer. Air fryer chicken legs have crispy skin, are wonderfully juicy and are simple to prepare. It’s easy to make chicken legs that fit all those points in your air fryer – our recipe is quick and easy while allowing you to make only the juiciest chicken with the crispiest skin.

keto chicken sits in front of an air fryer

How to air fry drumsticks?

To air fry chicken drumsticks, you want to:

  1. Season or marinate your raw chicken first. For the recipe, we cover our chicken legs in a buttery, garlic Dijon marinade for several hours.
  2. Preheat the appliance to 390˚F for five minutes.
  3. Place your chicken in the air fryer basket, ensuring that no two pieces are touching each other.
  4. Put the basket into the air fryer for 9-10 minutes, then take it out to flip your drumsticks.
  5. Once flipped, cook for the final 9-10 minutes, before serving the crispy chicken.

Alternatively to the Dijon marinade, you could apply our keto BBQ sauce before and after cooking.

Air Fryer Chicken Legs Recipe Video

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Air Fryer Chicken Legs Ingredients

  • 6 - 8 chicken legs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened or melted
  • 2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Air Fryer

Air Fryer Chicken Legs Directions

  • Air Fryer Chicken Legs
  • How long should I air fry chicken legs?

    instant pot vortex pro air fryer

    Some air fryers can vary in cooking times, so you will need to keep an eye on your chicken legs until you know how long the cooking temperature should take. Make sure that the internal temperature of your drumsticks is 165˚F.

    For this chicken recipe, I cooked this chicken in an Instant Pot Vortex Pro. It took about 18-20 minutes to cook, but I also like the Ninja Foodi.

    Can I substitute chicken thighs or chicken breasts?

    The short answer is yes! Air fryer chicken thighs are amazing and cook similar to air fryer drumsticks, however chicken breasts will need some careful cooking time adjustments.

    You will likely have to add time to chicken breasts. In order to ensure food safety, always use a meat thermometer and ensure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

    cooked chicken legs on a plater with shallot and mustard

    Benefits to using an air fryer to cook chicken

    There are many different benefits to using an air fryer to cook chicken.

    • Air frying your chicken creates the juiciest chicken while producing a crispy skin!
    • Air Fryers are also compact and don’t take up too much space in the kitchen.
    • For those, that don’t want to wait too preheat an oven or use their oven because it’s Summer and you don’t want to heat up the house, air fryers heat up faster and don’t put out a lot of heat.
    • Simple clean up – most air fryers have dishwasher safe baskets and trays.
    six chicken legs on an air fryer tray

    Importance of preheating the air fryer

    Preheating an air fryer is really important for crisping food.

    After preheating, the ingredients in your basket will start to cook on the outside immediately after being added to the air fryer. This allows them to crisp, instead of slow steaming as they would if they were started in a cool air fryer or oven, for that matter.

    juicy chicken legs on a serving plate

    Tips for the crispiest chicken skin

    For the crispiest chicken drumstick skin, try these help hints when air frying chicken legs:

    1. Make sure to not overcrowd the basket. If you do crowd the basket, then the air will not be able to properly access all of the chicken skin, leaving some parts not crispy.
    2. Don’t stack the chicken. Lay the chicken in an even layer leaving space between each leg to allow for air circulation. Now all the hot air has access to the skin for ultimate crisping factor.
    3. Pat your chicken skin dry before marinating to remove any excess moisture. Too much liquid in the chicken can lead to soggy drumsticks!
    4. Preheat your air fryer. You wouldn’t want to start deep frying something in cold oil.
    5. Flip your chicken legs halfway through cooking. This will ensure that the hot air inside the air fryer can touch all of the chicken, allowing for crispy skin.
    a cutting board with chicken legs

    Oven instructions

    Making chicken legs in the oven is very similar to making them in the air fryer, it’s just done a little more slowly.

    Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and place the chicken legs on a baking sheet. Place the drumsticks in the oven for fifteen minutes, before removing the sheet and flipping them over. Once flipped, place the chicken back in the oven for another fifteen minutes.

    crispy chicken skin on a drumstick

    Nutritional information & Macros

    Nutrition Information

    Air Fryer Chicken Legs

    Servings: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 459
    Fat 29.8g
    Protein 44.3g
    Total Carbs 1.5g
    Net Carbs 1.2g

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