Chicken Drumsticks

Think Oversized Wings & March to this Different Drumstick

Now that the price of chicken parts is climbing, consider drumsticks. I haven’t been a fan— they have chewy tendons that disrupt the texture. BUT>>> if butterflied and cooked in an air fryer to medium-well the tendons get lost…

380º for 20 Minutes, Turning Once

I found this tasty air fryer recipe with a unique way to serve them: butterflied! You can also eat these with your fingers, just like wings.

Such virtuosity in air frying—spray of oil, shake of spices, into the fryer—it is hands down a simple task with deep fryer results without the mess

Whole Drumsticks Vs. Butterflied for a Test Batch

INGREDIENTS: Choose from many spice blends

Also consider Montreal Seasoning, Jerk and Others. Liquid Smoke Brings a Punch of Flavor

Serves 2-3

  • drumsticks – 6, with skin on and bone-in
  • dry rub blend – 1 TBS, containing salt [see below if salt-free]*
  • baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • oil, neutral – 1 TBS
  • liquid smoke – [optional], brush on a thin coating after cooking


  1. Prepare the drumsticks by laying on cutting board and using a sharp knife [I like a boning knife]
  2. Lay the drumstick so it rests with the two knobs of the foot end is positioned as above [left photo]
  3. Slice through the skin and trace down to the bone and then slice along each side in both directions to free it; continue to cut toward the thick end and free enough meat around the bony knob so it barely releases and a wing is formed
  4. * Combine the spice rub with the baking powder; if rub is salt-free, add in 1-1/2 tsp salt with the spice rub
  5. At least 30 minutes before and up to 4 hours season both sides of the drumstick with rub mixture
  6. Preheat the air fryer 380º for 5 minutes
  7. Spray the chicken generously with oil on both sides and lay skin side up in the fryer basket slightly spread apart; you may have to do two batches
  8. Air fry for 10 minutes and then flip and again, lightly sprinkle with baking powder, then continue for another 9-11 minutes until about 190º [using an instant read thermometer for best results]


  • Serve with this wonderful remoulade sauce [mayo based] for a grand flavor marriage
  • Or treat them like Buffalo wings and get out the blue cheese dressing and celery sticks

Served with Old Bay seasoning and Remoulade Sauce [Note: These are Butterflied and They Temporarily Closed]

On a subsequent batch I tested both butterflied and uncut drumsticks with equal success.

Dinner with Manicotti and Drumsticks with Remoulade Sauce

Basted with Buffalo Wing Sauce [Melted Butter & Frank’s Hot Sauce With a Few Dashes of Liquid Smoke] for Last Few Minutes of Air Frying

Recipe adapted by B. Hettig

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