My Low Fat Baked Chicken Legs Recipe

CraftySummer’s Low Fat Baked Chicken Legs Recipe

Most people out there love chicken, myself and my husband included. Since moving to the Harlem neighborhood in NYC we have developed the bad habit of eating large qualities of fried chicken, served in buckets as is traditional.

In particular I LOVE fried chicken legs!!! I could eat dozens given the right amount of time and liquids to combat the incredible saltiness. But my husband and I are both already “ample round the middle” so this behavior needs to stop. No more fried chicken legs for us.

So here you have it, my answer to fried chicken legs in perhaps a slightly less tasty but FAR less caloric option. Great for people who are watching their weight, maybe due to health problems like diabetes, but don’t want to give up on crunchy chicken!

Without further ado, here is my recipe!

CraftySummer’s Low Fat Baked Chicken Legs Recipe

Serves 4 to 6 people
Prep Time 20m
Total Bake Time 1h15m – 1h20m

-14 to 16 chicken legs
-½ cup buttermilk
-¾ cup flour
-¼ cup breadcrumbs
-1 tsp salt (or salt substitute if you are watching your sodium levels.)
-2 TBSP paprika (feel free to make those tablespoons heaping, paprika adds flavor with practically no calories!)
-1 tsp fresh ground pepper (or more if you like pepper and don’t mind all that grinding. I used black pepper but any kind will do as long as it’s fresh.)
-1 TBSP crushed red pepper flakes
-½ TBSP cumin
-½ tsp turmeric
-Pam (or similar product to grease pans with)

Optional for more flavor (I used cayenne but couldn’t find my garlic powder.)
-Dash of cayenne pepper
-Dash of garlic powder

Optional for crispier skin (but way more fat calories, I omitted both of these.)
-¼ cup melted shortening or butter (to be drizzled over the legs.)
-¼ cup oil, any kind (to be added to the buttermilk dip.)

Pan(s) large enough for all the chicken
Tin foil
Colander (to put washed chicken in)
Two mixing bowls large enough for an entire chicken leg to fit inside lengthwise
Measuring spoons
Regular spoon
Whisk (optional, for adding oil to buttermilk)


Set oven to preheat to 350 degrees F.

Line your pans with foil, and grease with Pam or preferred product. Put aside. (The foil will greatly cut down on cleaning time, so do not omit this step.)


In a medium to large sized mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add flour, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and turmeric (and cayenne pepper and garlic powder if using either) and stir together completely.


Measure out ½ cup buttermilk and put into a medium to large sized bowl. (If you wish to add calories and make the skin crispier, add ¼ cup of oil to the buttermilk and whisk together. I omitted this step to lessen the calories.)

Wash legs and stack in colander.


Set up your assembly line. Chicken > Buttermilk > Flour mix > Lined pan.


Now we will dredge the legs one at a time.

Pick up your leg by the end bone and dunk in the buttermilk. Turn it a few times in the milk to ensure that the entire leg is coated.


Now dredge the coated chicken leg in the flour mix, and once again turn it a few times to ensure that it is fully coated. You want a thin even coating, if possible. Too much will make it chunky and fall off the chicken.


Place the chicken leg in the pan.


Complete the same steps for each leg, arranging them in the pan evenly. (If you want crispier chicken, melt ¼ cup shortening or butter and drizzle evenly over the top of the chicken. Be careful to drizzle lightly or it will cause the breading to fall off of the chicken.)


When all of the legs are ready, pop them in the oven (which has by now preheated to 350 degrees) and set a timer for 45 minutes.


When the timer goes off, carefully turn over each piece of chicken with a pair of tongs. Be careful not to burn yourself!

Allow to cook for an additional 35 to 40 minutes, when chicken is tender and juices run clear. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 160 degrees F before serving.



Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then plate with starch and veggie sides! Here I have curried potatoes and asparagus.




Mmmmm! Delicious! I loved them, and I hope you do too!


About CraftySummer

I am an avid crafter living in New York City in the Harlem area just above the park. I love to knit, write, cook, draw, and in general create things --- and of course I enjoy documenting them in my blog :D Everything that appears on my blog has been written, photographed, knit, or otherwise created by me. Please do not reproduce or repost anything from this blog without my written permission. Thank you.
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2 Responses to My Low Fat Baked Chicken Legs Recipe

  1. Sara says:

    That looks yummy! I’ve surprised by how long the legs stay in the oven. I would expect it to take much less time for them to reach 160 degrees. But there’s no arguing with good results.

  2. CraftySummer says:

    Thank you! They were yummy! As for the time, I suppose you could take them out sooner to check, but a 1h15m at 350 worked for me. Of course with chicken you always want to be careful to err on the side of safety 🙂

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