These Baked Chicken Legs feature spicy paprika combined with fresh lemon to create the most flavourful baked chicken with minimal effort. Bake these tender, succulent, and unbelievably tasty chicken legs for your family tonight.
Chicken is one of the most popular and versatile proteins there is and here at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen we LOVE our chicken dinners. From comforting Chicken and Dumplings to a Lemon Herb Dry Brined Roasted whole Chicken, there’s a chicken recipe for every occasion.
Lemon Paprika Baked Chicken Legs
This Lemon Paprika Baked Chicken Legs recipe is a super easy and delicious way to bake whole chicken legs. I like to bake the entire leg with bones and skin because it just tastes better.
The meat remains moist and for those of you that like crispy skin, this recipe is perfect for you too. This amazing recipe is courtesy of ricardocuisine.com.
Chicken and Paprika just seem to belong together. Add in the acidity of lemon and you have a flavourful dish with relatively few ingredients.
Besides the wonderful flavour of these baked chicken legs, this recipe results in the most tender, juicy legs. The secret is in the legs themselves!
Ingredients Used in this Recipe
Do you love a tried and true no fuss recipe that uses a few simple ingredients? This is definitely the chicken recipe for you. It’s astounding how much flavour the finished chicken has with only a few key ingredients.
- Olive Oil
- Lemon juice and zest
- Garlic clove
- Dijon Mustard
- Salt and Pepper
- Bone-in, Skin on Chicken Legs
Paprika – For this recipe I generally use Sweet Paprika. However, Smoked Paprika or Hot Paprika, even Paprika Paste would work just fine.
Dijon Mustard – It’s easy to over look Dijon Mustard in a recipe, especially if you don’t have it on hand. It’s worth adding to the recipe in this case, though maybe less so if you are using Paprika paste. Use ground or grainy Dijon for different results.
Chicken Legs – Bone-in, skin on whole chicken legs. Or, if you prefer use smaller pieces such as thigh only or drumstick only. Cooking times will vary with smaller pieces of chicken.
Which Cut of Chicken is Best for Baking?
I much prefer Chicken Legs for most applications. They have a slightly higher fat content and always bake up super moist. Chicken legs are very forgiving, even if you overcook them slightly.
Chicken Legs (or Chicken Marylands) are the hind quarter of the chicken. They consist of the thigh and drumstick. You can buy them complete or fully boned but for the most flavourful chicken, this recipe uses bone-in skin on chicken legs.
How to Make These Baked Chicken Legs
You will be astonished at how easy this recipe is. Simply mix all of the ingredients (minus the chicken) together in a small bowl.
Loosen the skin from the top of each thigh and rub a spoonful of the mixture into the meat. Arrange each piece top side up and rub the remainder of the mixture all over the chicken legs to cover.
Arrange the lemon wedges throughout the chicken pieces and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 75 minutes. Test the temperature of the meat, then finish on the broiler if it is at your desired doneness.
When are Baked Chicken Legs Finished Cooking?
As a rule, chicken is done cooking when it reaches 165 F when checked with a meat thermometer. This is the safe minimum temperature required for food safety.
However legs and thighs have a lot of connective tissue which requires a higher temperature to break down. I often cook dark meat to an internal temperature of 175 F or even 185 F even though it isn’t required.
To properly take the temperature, insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh meat. Wait for the temperature to register, then take the temperature along the bone.
Do this for multiple chicken legs as they may differ slightly in size. Always use the lowest temperature for best reference.
To crisp up the chicken skin, turn on the top broiler to low broil and keep a close eye on the chicken. Five minutes of broiling should result in perfectly golden crispy skin.
How to Store Cooked Chicken
Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, foil, or place in a shallow airtight container.
When properly stored in a refrigerator, cooked chicken will last three to four days.
How to Reheat Baked Chicken Legs
Ah, the age old question. How do you reheat chicken without it becoming dry?
To reheat using an oven, remove the chicken and allow it to warm to room temperature while the oven preheats to 350 F. Place the chicken in a baking dish, then add a small amount of chicken stock or water to the pan.
Cover the dish with foil so that the chicken steams while it warms. To crisp up the skin, use the broiling method as directed in the recipe.
For the stovetop method, use the stovetop method as outlined above but use a covered saucepan for steaming. Forget about crispy skin when using this method.
For the microwave method, separate the thigh from the drumstick and reheat covered in 30 second intervals until the chicken reaches the required temperature.
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