Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks

A dinner the whole family will love! Tips for tender & Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks with amazing flavor.

When I think of crispy fried drumsticks, I think of summer picnics and family reunions. In our reunions over the years, we’d sometimes buy fast food drumsticks or buckets of chicken because it was quick and easy.

But when you’re craving comfort food and want to save a little money, this Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks recipe is the economical choice. And your family will still love it!

plate of chicken drumsticks

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Uses bone-in, skin on drumsticks for an economical choice.
  • Buttermilk soak makes the chicken extra tender.
  • Tips for a crispy breading that stays on the chicken.
  • Perfect for weeknights, picnics, and potlucks.

What does buttermilk do to chicken?

You’ll notice this recipe calls for soaking the chicken drumsticks in seasoned buttermilk for at least 1 hour before cooking. Why is this necessary?

Soaking chicken drumsticks in buttermilk makes the meat tender. While harsher acids like lemon juice or vinegar can tenderize, they can also dry out the meat. But soaking chicken in buttermilk helps it stay juicy while tenderizing the meat.

Can you use milk instead of buttermilk to make fried chicken?

Plain milk won’t have the same effect. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, use milk and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar per cup of milk. This is a great substitute for buttermilk.

What oil is best for frying chicken?

It is best to fry chicken in an oil that has a high smoke point which means that the fat won’t break down and give your chicken strange flavors. Peanut oil has a smoke point of 450º Fahrenheit. You’ll fry this chicken at 375º Fahrenheit so your oil will stay good.

Peanut oil also is inexpensive to buy and has a great nutty flavor.

ingredients for fried chicken drumsticks on a table

How to Make Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Soak.

  • In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning and 1 tablespoon of black pepper. Stir well.
  • Add the chicken to the buttermilk mixture. Stir carefully to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, but up to 12 hours.

Flour.

  • Once the chicken has marinated, take it out of the refrigerator.
  • In a medium mixing bowl add the flour, remaining creole seasoning and black pepper. Mix well.
  • Take each chicken drumstick and coat in the flour mixture. Make sure it is completely coated. Allow the chicken to rest 20 minutes before frying. This will help the coating stay on the chicken.
  • Place a baking rack over a rimmed baking pan. Set aside. This will hold the cooked chicken.
chicken drumstick in seasoned flour

Fry.

  • Pour oil to a 12” frying skillet or other frying pan. The oil needs to be about 2” deep. Turn on to medium heat. The grease needs to reach a temperature of 375°F. Use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature so that your chicken cooks evenly.
  • Add about 5 chicken drumsticks to the hot grease. Cook for 15 minutes. Turning about every 5 minutes. Check the temperature of the chicken inside has gotten to at least 165°F.
chicken frying in a cast iron skillet

How do you keep fried chicken from getting soggy?

When you remove the chicken from the frying pan, place it on a wire rack (with paper towels or a pan underneath), which will allow the oil to drip off. Air will be able to circulate around the drumsticks keeping it as crispy as possible.

fried chicken drumsticks on a baking rack
closeup of fried chicken
closeup of fried chicken

Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks

4.50 from 4 votes
A dinner the whole family will love! Tips for tender & Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks with amazing flavor.
Servings 14
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 14 chicken drumsticks (bone in and skin on)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 4 tablespoons creole seasoning divided
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper divided
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • peanut oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning and 1 tablespoon of black pepper. Stir well.
  • Add the chicken to the buttermilk mixture. Stir carefully to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, but up to 12 hours.
  • Once the chicken has marinated, take it out of the refrigerator.
  • In a medium mixing bowl add the flour, remaining creole seasoning and black pepper. Mix well.
  • Take each chicken drumstick and coat in the flour mixture. Make sure it is completely coated. Allow the chicken to rest 20 minutes before frying. This will help the coating stay on the chicken.
  • Place a baking rack over a rimmed baking pan. Set aside. This will hold the cooked chicken.
  • Pour oil to a 12” frying skillet or other frying pan. The oil needs to be about 2” deep. Turn on to medium heat. The grease needs to reach a temperature of 375°F. Use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature so that your chicken cooks evenly.
  • Add about 5 chicken drumsticks to the hot grease. Cook for 15 minutes. Turning about every 5 minutes. Check the temperature of the chicken inside has gotten to at least 165°F.
  • Remove from the frying pan and place it on the wire rack to drip. This will help the chicken stay crispy.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 14 drumsticks, with 1 serving being 1 drumstick. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 694IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 246
Keyword buttermilk chicken, chicken dinner, chicken recipe
a chicken drumstick with a bite out on a plate

What to Serve with Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Our favorites are mashed potatoes, coleslaw, fruit salad and dinner rolls. And don’t forget a glass of sweet tea. That’s a classic comfort meal right there!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store fried chicken?

Once cooled store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days. This recipe does freeze well. Use a freezer safe container and freeze up to 6 weeks.

How to reheat fried chicken?

Once thawed I use an air fryer (it works great if you have one) to heat up for about 5 minutes. This gives the best results. You’ll get that crispy texture again.

Can I eat these warm or cold?

Yes! They are just as good cold as they are warm.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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