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Lemon-Garlic Chicken Drumsticks

A Fantastically Fast and Easy Chicken Recipe

Just because you're short on time, doesn't mean a great dinner is out of reach. On days where time's a premium, try this little shortcut — replace a whole chicken with just the drumsticks. This simple swap dramatically cuts down the cooking time; instead of taking about an hour and a half, these beautifully burnished drumsticks can be on the table in about 45 minutes.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Drumsticks

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Drumsticks


For juicy chicken, season the drumsticks with salt and pepper at least 30 minutes before cooking, and as early as 3 days before cooking.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Drumsticks


  1. Kosher salt
  2. Pepper, freshly cracked
  3. 10-16 skin-on chicken drumsticks
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 4 tablespoons butter
  6. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  7. Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  8. 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped


  1. Generously season the drumsticks with salt and pepper, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, time permitting. Pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels just before cooking.
  2. Heat a 12-inch, heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably not nonstick) over medium-high heat. If you don't have a large enough skillet, use two smaller skillets. Add the oil and half the butter. When the butter is foaming, brown the drumsticks on all sides in batches; transfer the browned drumsticks to a plate.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add all the drumsticks back to the skillet(s), cover with the lid, and cook for 20-25 minutes, rearranging the drumsticks every 5-10 minutes for even cooking. Remove the lid and add the remaining butter, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Gently toss to coat the drumsticks. Take the skillet off the heat and leave the flavors to infuse for a few minutes (this also allows the chicken to rest). Sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry
MichelleDudas MichelleDudas 3 years

This looks absolutely deeeelish! Can't wait to try it!

Nicole-Perry Nicole-Perry 3 years

@btrfly5740:disqus yes, that shouldn't be a problem! Since chicken thighs are bigger than drumsticks, I'd use fewer to make sure that they can all fit in the skillet, and they may need a few more minutes cooking time, but otherwise go for it.

luckykarma luckykarma 6 years
I made this recipe tonight and it was amazing, but I didn't have any parsley or lemon so I substituted with thyme and lime and it was delicious!
anonymous334 anonymous334 6 years
does anyone know if you can use a grill instead of the frying pan coz i want to make this today but dont have enough time to watch over the frying pan...thanks for your help! :)
kate9991 kate9991 6 years
I made this tonight it was excellent and yummy! I was looking for a new way to do roasted chicken except not a whole chicken since I live by myself. I cut the measurements down to a single serving for two to have left overs. I didn't have the type of dish used to cook with in this recipe so I used an iron skillet instead that has a cover for it. It turned out perfect and tasty. I will definitely be making this again soon!
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 6 years
i just made these for dinner. i used sage as suggested above and didnt have parsley. one thing i did wrong was to TOO generously salt the chicken pre frying. not sure how much salt i would use next time. I boiled taro to go with this and it was a good choice because it wasnt not salty or oily. another starch i'd try with it is baked sweet potatoes. my son (2yrs) really liked this. he doesn't like chicken every time we have it so i am quite pleased to now have this recipe to go back to :) for the last step i chopped garlic (half a head for our 5 drumsticks-we love garlic) in a little food processor with the lemon juice, sage and remaining butter (melted). and it smelled soo good when i poured it over the sizzling chicken! by the way, unlike the previous poster i used a heavy skillet with glass lid.
PinkMeow PinkMeow 6 years
Mmm...made this in the cast iron dutch oven for tonight's dinner. Added a little powdered sage and made a gravy, too. I'm not a fan of dark meat, but this recipe is perfect for it. FABULOUS!!!
ladyliz ladyliz 9 years
Yum! I love chicken and am always looking for new and different ways of making it. Simple as well. That's a plus.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 10 years
My son loves drumsticks and i'm sure if I make this he'll love it.
starkiss23 starkiss23 10 years
Those look really good and don't have a lot of ingredients! I'm definitely going to try them..
heart2heart heart2heart 10 years
looks good. can't wait to try this.
lexichloe lexichloe 10 years
This sounds sooo good!
rothchild rothchild 10 years
wow so easy and sounds delicious
mominator mominator 10 years
These look good. Would be great with some BBq sauce on the side.
aimeeb aimeeb 10 years
Wow, I need more easy dinners like this to surprise my boyfriend with! The other day I was sweating over the oven and it was such a pain!
chrisTyyy chrisTyyy 10 years
Easy and looks great!
Diana172 Diana172 10 years
Oh man, it looks amazing! I love dark meat; I'm a total sucker for it.
Hollywoodjess Hollywoodjess 10 years
I will definately try this! : )
ALSW ALSW 10 years
These look good! Anything w/garlic!
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