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This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree - this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)

The Best Baked Chicken Legs


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x

Description

This simple 5 ingredient recipe makes the best baked chicken legs I have ever had in my whole life! (And the masses agree – this recipe has been shared more than 250,000 times!)


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken legs (about 10 legs)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 heaping teaspoon of preminced garlic)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the chicken legs out in a foil-lined baking dish with high sides (the foil is to make clean up easier — it’s not essential but helps a whole lot). A high-sided sheet pan is the best option because it has sides to keep everything in, but it is big enough that the chicken isn’t drowning in the sauce. It will caramelize best if half of the chicken is poking out of the sauce while cooking.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, measure out the honey, soy sauce, and ketchup. Add the minced garlic, and stir. If the mixture doesn’t combine well, microwave it on high for 30 seconds and stir again. Pour the honey mixture over the chicken legs.
  3. Put the chicken legs in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven, and rotate it so that the bottom that was in the sauce is now on top, out of the sauce.
  4. Put the legs back in the oven. Raise the heat to 425 degrees F., and bake until the sauce is bubbly and starts to caramelize on the chicken legs. This should take about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the sauce the the chicken cooked in with the meal or over rice if you’d like.

Notes

  • A pan slightly larger than 9×13 inch with sides is the best option because it has sides to keep all the juice in but is big enough that the chicken isn’t drowning in the sauce. It will caramelize best if half of the chicken is poking out of the sauce while cooking. My pan is 11×15 inches and it works best. If your pan is too large though your sauce will be too shallow, evaporate and burn.
  • Lining your pan with foil makes clean-up much easier. I recommend it.
  • The sauce that the chicken cooks in is delicious over cooked rice and steamed or roasted vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower) to round out the meal.
  • I like to use a little meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is done – better safe than sorry!
  • This recipe is a LONG time favorite in our house and it is highly adaptable to the slow cooker (hooray!!!). I change the portions a bit (use a 1/2 cup of ketchup, honey, and soy sauce), but it still tastes great. It’s a little less sticky, but it’s simple and flavorful.
  • How to cook chicken legs in a slow cooker: Place all of the chicken legs in the bottom of a slow cooker (I have this slow cooker). Pour the sauce over the chicken legs. Slow cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours, until the largest piece of chicken registers 165 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer.
  • This option is great for all the reasons the slow cooker is great. You can start it in the middle of the day and have dinner on the table without much hands-on work during the busy evening. Or you can get the slow cooker going, leave the house, and come home to dinner. This is great for working parents, for Sunday dinner (it can cook while you are at church), or if you are running kids to practices or lessons in the evening. This option leads to flavorful moist chicken, but the outside and skin don’t crisp at all.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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