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Pan Fried Chicken Drumsticks


Pan fried chicken drumsticks recipe that is quick and cooks in 30 minutes. These stove top chicken legs are flavorful, easy to make, the inside moist and tender, and the skin crispy. Let me show you step by step how to cook chicken drumsticks on the stove.

pan fried chicken legs served on a plate.

Pan Fried Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

This is the best pan fried chicken drumsticks recipe because it’s simple, quick and you get delicious, well cooked chicken.

Reading: how to fry drumsticks in a skillet

It comes out with crispy skin and the inside is tender, moist and perfectly cooked.

Pan fried chicken legs are healthier than deep fried because it uses way less oil to cook.

Seasoned with few pantry ingredients, these stove top drumsticks are juicy and flavorful.

This recipe is paleo friendly, low carb and keto.

It’s budget friendly, makes use of clean ingredients, no flour added, no panko or breading.

To use any other part of chicken, check my post on stove top chicken thighs or stove top chicken breast.

the cooked dish displayed.


Chicken Drumsticks – I’ve used bone in skin on chicken drumsticks for this post. You can take off the skin if you like and that also reduces the calories. You can also use chicken leg quarters.

Paprika – I use smoked paprika. You can use this or mix with sweet paprika.

Garlic granules

Onion granules


Black pepper – You can use any other type of ground dried pepper.


Oil – Vegetable, sunflower, olive or coconut oil are ones i’ve used with good result.

Some other Seasonings you can use are:

Peri peri seasoning

Read more: Nacho Cheese

Jerk seasoning

Taco seasoning

How To Pan Fry Chicken Legs (Stove top Chicken Drumsticks)

Add the paprika, onion granules, garlic granules, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Mix well till they are well combined.

Using a paper towel, pat the drumsticks dry.

Add the chicken drumsticks into a bowl then and in the seasoning mix. Mix the seasoning with drumsticks till the drumsticks are evenly coated.

seasoned chicken legs in a bowl.

Place a skillet or frying pan over medium heat then add the oil into the pan.

Arrange the drumsticks in the pan with the meaty skin side down.

the chicken arranged in the skillet.

Pan fry for 8 minutes then flip to the other side and pan fry for another 8 minutes.

pan fried in a skillet.

Add 2 cups of water into the pan, then cook on low heat till the water dries up or till cooked (this takes about 12- 15 minutes), or leave some pan juice to serve with the chicken.

Water added into the skillet.

When the chicken legs are cooked, take the skillet off the stove.

You will know the chicken is cooked when there’s no pinkiness in the middle and the juice runs clear. You can also check with a thermometer. The internal temperature should be at least 75C/165F for it to be safe to eat.

Serve and enjoy.

cooked chicken served in a plate with skillet in background.

How Long to Pan Fry Chicken Legs

How long to cook chicken legs on the stove depends on factors such as the size of the chicken.

It takes about 30 minutes to pan fry chicken drumsticks that are medium sized. Cooking it for 30 minutes or longer ensures that not only will the outside be cooked, but inside well cooked and juice runs clear.

For chicken leg quarters, it takes the same time of 30 minutes of cooking over medium heat.

What To serve with

Below are some sides we like to serve with:

Sauteed vegetables, and spicy rice.

Boiled carrots and boiled potatoes.

Read more: Creamy Garlic Penne Pasta

Air fryer potatoes, and boiled broccoli.

Fried spaghetti, pasta

Dipping sauces like peri peri sauce, bbq sauce, buffalo sauce, garlic parmesan, and others.

pan fried chicken legs served on a plate.

Storage Information

You can freeze cooked chicken drumsticks or store in the fridge. If you will be consuming it within few days you can store it in the fridge, otherwise, store in the freezer for a longer duration.

To store in the fridge – Put in a plastic bag or an airtight container, then store in the fridge where it will last for up to 5 days.

To Store in the freezer: Put in a freezer-safe airtight container or Ziploc bag, label with name and dates then store in the freezer where it’ll keep well for up to 6 months.

It can be reheated on the stovetop, microwave, oven or air fryer.

To reheat on the stove: Arrange the drumsticks in a skillet or frying pan, add a cup of water and put on the stove over medium heat. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes or till heated through and water dried up.

To reheat in the microwave: Place the drumsticks on a microwave safe plate, put in the microwave, cover and microwave on high heat settings for 2 minutes or till warmed through.

Tips for Making Pan fried Chicken Drumsticks

  • Try and use similar-sized drumsticks for the same cooking time.
  • You can add other spices to season or use homemade seasoning like chicken seasoning, peri peri seasoning, lemon pepper, or any of your choice. Using a different seasoning once in a while will give you a variety of tastes.
  • Mix the seasoning with the chicken legs well so they are evenly coated.
  • Although it’s not necessary to marinate for this recipe, It’s best to season the chicken and put it in the fridge for few hours so that the flavors can be well infused. You can season for 60 minutes, 2 hours, 4 hours, or in the morning ready for dinner time.
  • Don’t wait for the oil to be overheated before adding the chicken legs. That way the chicken skin won’t get burnt.
  • You can leave some pan juice to serve on the chicken or add cornflour to thicken to make gravy.
  • Don’t rush the cooking process as it’s important the inside is cooked to a temperature of 165F/75C to avoid food poisoning.

Should i cover pan while frying chicken?

Covering the pan after adding water trap steam in the pot which helps to cook the inside of the chicken thoroughly and faster.

3 pieces of chicken drumsticks on a plate.

More Chicken Drumsticks Recipes

Boiled chicken legs

Air fryer chicken drumsticks

Instant pot chicken drumsticks

Baked chicken legs

I hope you like this recipe as much as we do. If you find this post helpful, please rate it 5 stars and leave me a comment below. I love reading from you.

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Danh mục: sauce

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