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Baking chicken legs in the oven is a simple and delicious way to prepare this versatile cut.

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Here's a basic guide:


  • Chicken legs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Seasonings of your choice (optional, see tips below)


  1. Preheat the oven: Aim for a medium-high heat, around 425°F (220°C).

  2. Prep the chicken legs: Pat the chicken legs dry with paper towels to help ensure crispier skin. Season them generously with salt and pepper.

  3. Add flavor: You can simply stick with salt and pepper for a classic flavor, or get creative with other seasonings. Here are some ideas:

    • Italian: Dried oregano, thyme, garlic powder, paprika
    • Cajun: Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper (be mindful of spice level)
    • Lemon Herb: Lemon pepper seasoning, dried thyme, rosemary
    • BBQ: Smoked paprika, brown sugar, chili powder

    For these flavored options, you can either coat the chicken legs with the seasonings directly or toss them in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and the spices.

  4. Arrange on a baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easier cleanup. Spread the chicken legs out in a single layer on the prepared sheet, leaving some space between each piece for even cooking.

  5. Bake the chicken legs: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C).

  6. Broil for extra crisp (optional): If you prefer crispier skin, you can broil the chicken legs for the last minute or two of cooking. Keep a close eye on them under the broiler to avoid burning.

  7. Rest and serve: Once cooked through, take the chicken legs out of the oven and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute for a more flavorful and tender result.


  • You can add chopped vegetables like potatoes, onions, or carrots to the baking sheet along with the chicken for a complete roasted chicken and veggies meal. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and seasonings before placing them around the chicken.
  • For extra juicy chicken legs, you can tent them loosely with foil halfway through baking.
  • Leftover baked chicken legs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days
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