Lemon Paprika Baked Chicken Legs

Orange coloured Baked Chicken Legs with lemon wedges.

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.

Orange coloured Baked Chicken Legs with lemon wedges.

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
  • Paprika
  • Garlic clove
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Bone-in, Skin on Chicken Legs
Ingredients for Paprika Baked Chicken Legs assembled on a wooden platter.

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.

Raw chicken legs coated with orange paprika paste.

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.

Orange coloured Baked Chicken Legs with lemon wedges.

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.

Orange coloured Baked Chicken Legs with lemon wedges.

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Pinterest image of orange coloured Baked Chicken Legs with lemon wedges.
Yield: 6 servings

Lemon Paprika Baked Chicken Legs

Orange coloured Baked Chicken Legs with lemon wedges.

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.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 6 chicken legs
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions

    1. With the oven rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
    2. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the chicken. Set aside.
    3. With your fingers, gently lift the skin from the chicken legs without tearing it. Spread the lemon and paprika oil on the chicken flesh and skin. Season with pepper.
    4. Places the pieces, side by side, in a baking dish. Arrange the lemon wedges.
    5. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat falls off the bone.
    6. If necessary, finish cooking under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the chicken skin is golden brown.
    7. Serve with the lemon wedges, rice and a vegetable of your choice.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 535Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 328mgSodium: 311mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 63g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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10 comments

  1. K @ Peeled Wellness

    I can’t believe how easy these are! They look so wholesome and fabulous- your photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
    xoxo K
    http://peeledwellness.com

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Thank you very much K! Yes, I am quite amazing at how easy and delicious a lot of the recipes are from Ricardo…I think this dish will be a regular on our table. Thank you ever so much for the follow as well.
      B

      Reply

  2. Spring Tomorrow

    A few days ago, I tried baking chicken with lemon wedges like you did but somehow there was a bitterness that kind of ruined the dish. I’m just wondering what could have gone wrong.

    Reply

    1. dishnthekitchen

      I’m not really sure…did you only use the zest of the lemon in the paste? I didn’t have the lemon on the pieces of chicken while baking. Also, I use a sweet smoked paprika. Maybe the kind of paprika?

      Reply

      1. Spring Tomorrow

        I actually used the sliced lemons in whole which was a wrong move. I think the bitterness came from the white pith. Shall just omit that the next time I bake the same. But thanks anyway!

        Reply

  3. foodisthebestshitever

    Marylands are without a doubt my favourite piece of chicken. I love this sort of shit!!

    Reply

  4. chef mimi

    This is beautiful! I love your salt keeper, by the way! Does your daughter live in your home?

    Reply

  5. Callista

    Beautiful! I got my first le creuset for Christmas too! Think my momma got it on sale as well. I think it’s the braiser, but I use it for pretty much everything now! Love it!

    Reply

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