Oven-Fried Spicy Drumsticks


Yes your eyes are not playing tricks on you. These mouth watering chicken drumsticks are Oven-Fried. A few days ago, a cookbook Asian Oven caught my eye at the bookstore and I couldn’t believe the author uses oven to fry – from chicken to springrolls. Oh my, frying without oil. This is like discovering man can go to space. Super exhilarated, I immediately headed to buy some chicken.

The recipe suggested using chicken wings or drummettes. But these cuts are too small bites for me and I choose chicken drumsticks instead. I cut 2 slits on each side of the drumstick to make it cook faster. As I did not have the memory of an elephant, I recalled only a few ingredients for the recipe and the rest I just add usual curry chicken spices.

The verdict: Straight from the oven, these drumsticks really taste like fried chicken! The skin is crispy and the flesh is full of curry flavour – after marinating for more than 2 hours. It’s really finger licking good! I can’t wait to try with chicken wings or drummettes as finger food. Now I can enjoy fried chicken without the guilt of deep drying oil! and oh I have to go buy that cookbook!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Oven-Fried Spicy Drumsticks
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mouth watering Spicy Chicken fried in the oven - healthy and guilt free! Enjoy healthy Fried Chicken without the guilt of deep frying oil
Recipe type: Side/Main
Serves: 2
  • 4 Chicken Drumstick
  • 1 tablespoon Corn Flour (Cornstarch)
  • 2 cloves Garlic – finely grated
  • 2 inch Ginger – finely grated
  • 2 Bird Eye Chili (cili padi) – seeded and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoon Garam Masala or meat curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 branch of Curry Leaf
  • ⅓ teaspoon Prawn Paste (Belacan) - Optional
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  1. Wash and pat dry drumstick. Make 2 slits on each side of drumstick with a knife.
  2. Grate garlic and ginger, and mince bird eye chili.
  3. Put all ingredients into a container with a cover and mix everything well to coat the drumstick and into the slits made earlier. [i]Add an extra ½ tablespoon corn flour if marinade is watery and collects at the bottom of the container. If the marinade is too dry, add a bit of water. You want a batter that is thick enough to coat the wings, but not so thick that it cakes. [i/] Put the curry leaves into the slit. Cover the drumsticks and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 475F/240C.
  5. Line a baking tray with foil. Arrange the drumsticks on the tray, spacing them slightly apart. Roast in oven for about 15 minutes (or until crispy) and turn the drumsticks over to roast for another 15 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.

Simply Delish! 


  1. I tried this recipe and it does taste good. As my family ain’t chilly eaters, I left out the belacan and chili paste and yet it tasted just as nice. I only had 1 problem – the chicken tend to stick to the aluminium foil so part of the skin or chicken meat (a bit only) gets stuck there. Has this got something to do with my marination i.e. too dry or because I didn’t use chili paste?

    • I love oven-fried chicken, it’s guilt free & good. Use this as the basic recipe & substitute with any spices/flavours that you like, it’s the cornflour that keeps it crispy. A friend tried it with Ipoh Salted Chicken seasoning & it turns out great. When I tried this recipe for the 1st time, it also sticks to the aluminium foil. Then a friend taught me to place the chicken directly on the wire rack, and place the tray below that rack to collect the dripping oil. It will make the chicken even more crispy. I used this method in this recipe http://www.justasdelish.com/korean-oven-fried-chicken-drumsticks/
      Do connect with me on facebook, it’s easier to chat there https://www.facebook.com/JustAsDelish

  2. Hi Shannon. This looks super! I’m never too keen on deep frying. This sounds like a better option to fried chicken. Does the skin really crisp up like the fried version? That would be so great not to have to use so much oil to achieve that.

    • Oven-fried is not as crisp like deep fried, but close enough for me! I think you can try what missblurkit suggested: to put the chicken directly on the metal grill and let the fat drop down on the tray below, that way the oil won’t gather around the chicken on the foil and make the skin soft.

  3. Wow I gotta remember this recipe! Frying without oil in the oven sounds so healthy. I hope it tastes just as good. My husband will be the guinea pig! =) Thanks for sharing this recipe

    • oh yes, it taste real good, almost as good fried chicken. Just make sure the marinate is dry. let me know how it turn out

      • Hi Shanon, I made oven baked drumsticks today using this recipe. They turned out great! I had used my own seasoning mix though since I didn’t have prawn paste or curry. But I used cornstarch like this recipe called for. They were so good that me and my husband each had 3 big drumsticks with our dinner! =)

        • Great to hear the drumsticks turn out delish and addictive! Your husband must be a happy guinea pig 🙂 Can u share what seasoning you tried? I want to try new flavours too

  4. We roast our chicken all the time but never looks like that. I guess you are right when the marination is dry it gives the fried look and you have added the cornstarch that also has made it crusty. Loved it. I was looking for your follower widget.

    • yup cornstarch is the secret 😛 oh my follower widget on top left is as noticeable as I want to, will have to do something about it. thanks for your feedback

  5. Lovely recipe!
    By the way,
    I’m always so scared of grating garlic like that, afraid I’ll get my finger grated too!

  6. Wow – spicy and delicious! I love oven fried chicken. Very nicely done!

  7. This looks delicious! I love oven-fried recipes. Thanks for sharing. Yum!!

  8. This sounds amazing. I absolutely love chicken drumsticks – either roasted or fried – so this is like the best of both worlds! The spice marinade just makes these pop. Thanks for sharing.

  9. “Oven-fried” sounds like a miraculous recipe! Your chicken looks gorgeous too. I feel I will have to try it one day. Thank you for the wonderful idea. I have already put this book on my wish list 😉

  10. i normally place them on the rack and let it roast so that the fat and oil can ooze out onto the tray below. this results in a crispy skin while the meat remains juicy. cooking time is approximately 20 minutes at 150C on the middle row of the oven. no need to turn the chicken whatsoever.

    will give your choice of marinade a try. my current fave is with fennel, mustard seed, coarse salt, garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice.

    • When I roast chicken in the oven, it never gets crispy and ends up rather wet when the juice comes out from the chicken. This marinade is rather dry, so it makes the skin crispy like fried skin 😛
      your marinade is yummy too. are you using fennel powder and whole mustard seed?

      • that’s because i place it on the rack for the oil to drip down into the tray below.

        mustard see whole. fennel is home grinded unless if lazy…then i just smack them a little before i marinade the chicken or any chosen meat.

  11. Those look pretty good to me! I never heard of prawn paste before! What’s it like?

    • thanks for asking. I forgot to put prawn paste as an optional ingredient. Prawn paste is a common ingredient used in Southeast Asian cuisine, it is made from fermented ground shrimp, sun dried and then cut into fist-sized rectangular blocks. you can find prawn paste in Asian shops but I have to warn you of the smell – most non-Asians can’t stand the ‘unique’ smell!

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