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Buffalo chicken drumsticks

Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks


Baked-then-fried buffalo chicken drumsticks for more meat and ease of service


  • 10 chicken drumsticks, thawed if previously frozen
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 8 oz hot sauce of your choice (I like to do a little mixing and matching—for this recipe I did 6 oz Crystal and 2 oz Secret Aardvark)
  • 2 (or more) minced Thai chilies
  • 8 Tbsp butter, chilled and cut into smallish pieces
  • Oil for frying


Dry brine the legs

  • Place the legs in a large bowl that can easily hold them all.
  • Sprinkle generously with the salt, toss to coat and distribute. You may not need all of it. 
  • Sprinkle in 1 tsp of the baking powder at a time, tossing to coat between each addition. 
  • Move the legs to a rack set in a rimmed sheet pan. refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight, uncovered.

Bake the legs

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • Insert a needle probe into the thickest chicken drumstick in the deepest part of the meat. Set your ChefAlarm to 170°F (77°C). 
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  • Bake the chicken wings until the high-temp alarm sounds. 
  • Verify the temperature of the chicken with your Thermapen ONE when the high-temp alarm sounds. 

Temping chicken legs in the oven with Thermapen

Make the sauce and heat the oil

  • While the chicken is baking, gently heat the hot sauce and minced chilies up to 110°F (43°C). Use your Thermpaen ONE to verify the temperature. 

Temping wing sauce

  • Remove the sauce from heat and whisk in the cold butter pieces, all at once. Set aside, away from heat, on the counter.
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  • Start heating 3–4″ of fry oil in a heavy-bottomed pot (do not fill it beyond halfway full).

Fry the chicken!

  • When the high-temp alarm on your ChefAlarm sounds (about 20–30 minutes later), check the temp with your Thermapen and remove the legs from the oven. They will look a little powdery from the salt and baking powder. 
  • Set up your ChefAlarm as a deep-fry thermometer with the high-temp alarm set to 375°F (191°C). 

Temping fry oil

  • When the oil is ready, use tongs to put 4 or 5 chicken legs in the hot oil.
  • Fry until the chicken is golden and crisp on the outside, then remove to a rack to drain.

Frying chicken drumsticks

  • Fry another pot of wings.
  • Toss the fried legs with about 1/2 C of the sauce per 5 legs.
  • Serve with a dipping sauce like blue cheese dressing, or even drizzle on more of the “wing” sauce!



This recipes scales up easily. Make more legs!