Deep Fried Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

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Deep-fried chicken drumsticks recipe with the crispiest skin and juicy, tender meat that’ll make you grab for more. These crispy snacks are made with just 5 simple ingredients, perfect for a quick dinner or as an easy appetizer.

Golden crispy deep-fried chicken drumsticks served on a banana leaf with dipping sauce.

Deep-fried chicken drumsticks

These chicken drumsticks are one of my personal favorites. They’re so crispy and crunchy on the outside, I love them with a dipping sauce like sweet Thai sweet chili sauce and sticky rice.

They’re perfect for your next gathering, but you can totally enjoy ’em solo too. For a complete weeknight dinner, pair the drumsticks with one of my spicy Thai salads on the side.

Thai woman holding a crispy fried chicken drumsticks with dipping sauce, against a bamboo background.

Before deep-frying the drumsticks, the skin is marinated in a seasoned crispy flour mixture. This step ensures you’ll get the crispiest, golden brown skin you’ll ever have.

And the marinated chicken is so tender and moist, full of umami and salty flavors, you’ll be scraping the bone clean.

Crispy deep-fried chicken drumsticks with a bite taken out, displayed on a banana leaf, accompanied by sticky rice and a white flower.

Good to know: These are low-carb and high protein, perfect for keto diet.

This is the best fried chicken drumsticks recipe you’ll ever try, hands down!

Tips for the most crispy drumsticks ever

So you want the best crispy fried chicken legs ever, right? Here’s the rundown on how to make it happen.

  • After you get the drumsticks out of the fryer, let excess oil drain. Use paper towels or transfer them to a sieve. This is crucial for a crispy texture.
  • Turn each drumstick now and then while they’re cooking. Use tongs or a spatula to ensure even browning and crisping on all sides.
  • Don’t overcrowd your frying pot or pan. Give the drumsticks some room to breathe. If needed, fry in small batches, so each chicken leg can fry golden brown to perfection. We want an even cook, and overcrowding prevents that.
  • Keep the oil at 350°F (175°C). A consistent heat ensures the chicken cooks through and achieves a golden-brown, crispy skin.
  • Marinate the chicken. Give the chicken at least 30 minutes in the fridge, marinated with fish sauce. It helps make the meat tender and amps up the flavor.
"Golden, crispy chicken being dipped into a saucy bowl, surrounded by more tantalizing drumsticks, traditional bamboo containers, and a vibrant mortar and pestle on a bamboo mat background.

Can’t get enough? Try my fried chicken larb, the traditional Hat Yai fried chicken, or this Thai fried chicken!

Ingredients

Raw chicken drumsticks, crispy frying flour, white sugar, fish sauce, and white pepper on a bamboo serving tray with several decorations such as flowers and a wooden spoon.
  • Chicken drumsticks – You can also use chicken wings, chicken thighs, or other chicken parts. I like drumsticks best since they’re so juicy with lots of meat, perfect for frying.
  • Fish sauce – These fried chicken drumsticks without buttermilk swap in fish sauce for a marinade. It’s a Thai-style marinade with a salty and umami flavor, giving you authentic Thai flavors.
  • White sugar – White sugar adds a touch of sweetness which is needed to balance out the salty flavor of the fish sauce.
  • Black pepper – Black pepper adds a subtle heat to the meat.
  • Crispy flour mix – Crispy flour like tempura flour is often used in Thai cuisine to give a crispy skin to deep-fried food. You can use cornstarch (which is gluten-free), rice flour, or the Asian kikkoman tempura batter mix.

Cooking instructions

Make sure to read my tips for the best deep-fried chicken drumsticks with skin on first.

Total Time: 55 minutes

  1. Make the marinade

    A bowl of marinade sauce on a bamboo surface.

    Combine fish sauce, white sugar, black pepper and crispy flour in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Marinate the chicken

    Coat each drumstick with the fish sauce marinade. Marinate in your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.A large glass bowl with 4 marinated drumsticks.

  3. How to deep-fry chicken drumsticks

    Preheat the oil to 350°F. Add the chicken drumsticks and fry them for approx 12–15 minutes, or until golden-brown. You can tell if fried chicken drumsticks are done by using a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the drumsticks reaches at least 165°F, confirming the chicken is fully cooked.

Kitchen tools

  • Tongs or slotted spoon or spider strainer
  • Deep fryer or large wok pan
  • Paper towels or wire rack
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Mixing bowl

Drumsticks in air fryer or oven

If deep-frying is not your thing, you can totally use this deep-fried chicken legs recipe with the air fryer or oven method as well.

  • Air fryer: Preheat to 375°F. Place the marinated, floured drumsticks in it. Don’t overcrowd. Cook for 25–30 minutes, flipping them halfway. You’re looking for golden brown and a 165°F internal temp.
  • Oven: Preheat to 425°F Prep a baking sheet with foil, add a wire rack on top, and line up the drumsticks. Bake them for approx 30–35 minutes, flipping them halfway. You want that beautiful golden brown color and a 165°F internal temp.

How to serve fried chicken legs

Serve them on their own as a tasty snack or pair with a dipping sauce. For a complete meal, pair them with other side-dishes.

Dipping sauce options

Optional side dishes

How to store

Let your dish cool down to room temperature and store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat in an oven or air-fryer until heated through.

Freezing instructions: Wrap them tightly in aluminum foil before placing them into a freezer-safe bag. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheating instructions: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C), spread the drumsticks out on a baking sheet, and bake for about 15–20 minutes.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make the drumsticks in advance?

Yes, you can make them in advance and store them in your refrigerator. Deep-fry them when you’re ready. You can also fry them in advance and simply reheat them in an oven before serving, but you’ll miss out on that fresh crunch.

Can I freeze fried drumsticks?

You can freeze drumsticks. Make sure they’re wrapped tightly in aluminum foil before placing them into a freezer-safe bag. You can store them for up to one month.

Can I use this recipe with other chicken parts as well?

You can totally use this recipe for fish sauce chicken wings. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

More fried appetizer recipes you’ll love

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Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 15 min Rest Time 30 min Total Time 55 mins
Servings: 2 Calories: 445

Description

The crispiest, juiciest deep-fried chicken drumsticks, marinated in fish sauce for a Thai kick.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make the marinade

    Combine fish sauce, white sugar, black pepper and crispy flour in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Marinate the chicken

    Coat each drumstick with the fish sauce marinade. Marinate in your refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Deep-fry chicken drumsticks

    Preheat the oil to 350°F. Add the chicken drumsticks and fry them for approx 12–15 minutes, or until golden-brown. You can tell if fried chicken drumsticks are done by using a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the drumsticks reaches at least 165°F, confirming the chicken is fully cooked. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2 drumsticks per person

Servings 2


Amount Per Serving
Calories 445kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14.6g23%
Saturated Fat 3.9g20%
Total Carbohydrate 3g1%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g2%
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 70.7g142%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Serve as a tasty appetizer, optionally with a sweet chili sauce, or as a side-dish with other food. As a main-dish, serve with steamed rice or sticky rice.
  • Before cooking, make sure to read the 'Tips for the most crispy drumsticks ever' section in the recipe post.
Keywords: deep fried chicken drumsticks, fried chicken drumsticks, fried chicken legs
About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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