Separation Is The Key To Perfectly Crispy Chicken Drumsticks

Crispy, crunchy chicken with a tender inside is one of our favorite ways to enjoy the bird, and thankfully, it can be achieved using multiple approaches. While frying and grilling can both give you that texture, those methods are either unhealthy when frequently done or too time-consuming. Instead, you can place them in the oven for crispy baked chicken wings or drumsticks.

Baking your chicken for a crispy result isn't always as foolproof as frying is, but there are tips and tricks to help you get crunchy chicken every time. Setting the oven at a high temperature and drying off your chicken are always discussed, but how you place your chicken is typically overlooked. For your chicken to evenly cook, giving you that nice, crisp skin all around, it's imperative that they don't touch.

Overlapping chicken drumsticks can prevent certain areas from receiving the full heat from the oven, resulting in an outer layer that's just as tender as the inside. When laying the drumsticks down, alternate the direction in which you place them. Start with putting a drumstick with the wider part facing up, nestling in the next one upside down, and so on until they're all laid down with room to breathe.

Tips on achieving crispy oven baked chicken

One of the best ways to get crispy chicken is by brining it. It may sound counterintuitive, but you can actually dry brine it instead of soaking the chicken. Coat your bird in salt and herbs and let the mineral draw the moisture out of the chicken. You can leave it uncovered for 24 hours, but if you're short on time, the brining step you can't forget for chicken with crispy skin is to pat your chicken with paper towels or add baking soda to it.

Baking soda increases the pH level of your chicken, absorbing the natural juices as it cooks. If you're after the texture of fried chicken, you can also dip the drumsticks in a flour and panko mixture to ensure that the skin is crispy, no matter what. To dry out the skin further, bake your chicken at a higher temperature. It's standard to bake your chicken at around 365 degrees Fahrenheit, but for a crunchy exterior, turn it up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.