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One Pan Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes

Dark meat lovers rejoice because this method for Roasted Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes is truly an outstanding one pan wonder!

After a 30 minute saltwater brine, drumsticks roast atop potatoes, Vidalia onions, chopped or baby carrots, and fresh lemon for a dish of simple ingredients PACKED with so much flavor.

I test-ran this method as a meal plan for sheet pan chicken legs, something I thought would be an easy weeknight meal. Though tasty, the chicken was not moist, not fall off the bone, and didn’t achieve that crispy skin I was looking for. Additionally, I was drippings necessary for a pan sauce that a sheet pan meal couldn’t provide.

Herbs are mixed with smoked paprika, mayo, and butter creating a rub that’s applied to the chicken. You guessed it – a self-basting chicken recipe.

a carbon steel skillet with roasted chicken drumsticks and potatoes and carrots

Potatoes, carrots, and onions form a bed beneath the legs as they cook, tenderizing the veggies. So too, will the lemon play an important role, lending a bright and fresh flavor via the lemon juice to pan drippings that will become a gravy.

You can use any potato really. I’ve passed the ‘whole family loved it test’ using this method with Yukon Golds, red potatoes, russet potatoes, and even sweet potatoes.

Be sure that whatever potato you use to chunk into 1-inch pieces so they cook through. I have yet to test this with baby potatoes, however due to the lengthy baking time, I’d opt to leave them whole.

A rimmed baking sheet isn’t enough, as this recipe yields more drippings than typical sheet pan chicken drumsticks. You will need a roasting pan like the one I am using here. This is carbon steel and is the ‘virtuoso amalgam’ of stainless-steel pan meets a cast-iron skillet.

If you haven’t a roaster such as this, use high-sided casserole. Heat conduction in a casserole will not come close to that of carbon steel, so the cook time will likely be longer, no rack necessary as veggies act as such while the lot roasts to perfection.

Grab a digital meat thermometer for internal temperature checks. An instant-read thermometer offers peace of mind that foods are cooked thoroughly.

an iron roasting pan with chicken and vegetables and lemon

Ingredients for Chicken Legs with Potatoes

for the brine

  • water – the conduit that will deliver the salt to the collegens
  • table salt – helps to break down the collegens especially along the bone helping to eliminate ‘bloody bone’
  • chicken drumsticks – a coveted favorite known for cooking up moist

for the rub

  • sage – adds earthy flavor
  • parsley – reminiscent of springtime dishes
  • thyme – classically used when cooking poultry
  • rosemary – offers earthy intensity
  • smoked paprika – smokiness to trick the palette
  • garlic powder – adds pungency
  • onion powder – tames tanginess
  • mayonnaise – locks in juices
  • unsalted butter – adheres the herbs to the protein
  • potatoes – a filling side and thickener to the pan gravy
  • Vidalia onion – caramelizes adding sweetness
  • carrots – a filling side and a natural sweetener
  • lemon – offers bright intensity
  • chicken stock – increases the amount of drippings
  • Kosher salt – levels up flavors
  • pepper – makes savory notes stand out

for the gravy

  • all-purpose flour – will be used to make the roux and act as a binding agent
  • drippings – a delightful mix of everything in the recipe, but hyper concentrated
  • chicken stock – to add volume and thin the gravy
  • Kosher salt – levels up flavors
  • pepper – makes savory notes stand out
raw chicken drumsticks with skin

How to Make this One Pan Chicken

Brine

Stir table salt in cold water ensuring the salt dissolves completely and the water is no longer cloudy.

Submerge the legs and refrigerate 30-minutes. Remove from the brine and lay on a paper towel to drain.

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Vegetables

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Peel and cut carrots, too, or use a cup of baby carrots.

Peel the outer skin from a Vidalia. Slice into 1/2-inch rings, separating a few to end up with varying sizes.

Rub

In a small bowl, mash mayonnaise with soft butter. Add dried sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and smoked paprika.

Sprinkle with garlic and onion powders and mash until very well combined. Pat the legs dry and smear the mayonnaise-butter mixture onto each piece.

Layer

Place onion rings, potatoes, carrots, and lemon slices into the bottom of the roaster in an even layer. Rest the drumsticks skin side up on the ‘rack’ of vegetables. Add a small amount of broth and season with Kosher salt and black pepper.

Roast

Load into the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 165°F with instant-read thermometer. During the roast, baste the vegetables with the pan juices to encourage browning.

If the skin requires crisping, broil for 2-3 minutes. Do not walk away as drippings are prone to smoking if not monitored.

CAREFULLY remove the roaster from the oven. Remove contents to a serving platter. Place aluminum foil over the platter creating a ‘loose tent’ on top. Rest for 10 to 12-minutes and make the pan gravy.

Pan Gravy

Good gravy is possible without pan drippings, but the best versions incorporate them. You will need at least 1/4-cup of drippings or a combination of drippings and broth to equal 1/4-cup.

Place roaster with drippings atop a burner over medium-high heat, handling carefully as it will still be hot. Ladle out some hot liquid into a bowl and add flour. Stir to break up the flour until smooth.

Add back to the drippings and whisk until thickened. Slowly add chicken broth, whisking vigorously until reaching desired consistency.

Modifying the Norm to Make It Not Entirely Average

  • Next time, incorporate Brussels sprouts or fresh trimmed green beans
  • Switch to bone-in chicken thighs
  • Add a garlic clove or 10 just beneath the drumsticks for a garlicky variation
  • Add fresh rosemary, pressing it down until submerged in the drippings
featured image for One Pan Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes

One Pan Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
Dark meat lovers rejoice because this method for Roasted Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes is truly an outstanding one pan wonder!
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 4 servings, 1 drumstick and 1/4 vegetables per serving
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 4 servings, 1 drumstick and 1/4 vegetables per serving
Calories 565 kcal

Equipment

  • carbon steel roaster I am using this one
  • or a high-sided casserole dish please note that heat conduction is less efficient in a casserole dish versus carbon steel likely resulting in longer cook times

Ingredients
 

brine

  • 1/2 cup table salt
  • 2 quarts water cold
  • 4 large chicken drumsticks skin-on

rub and vegetables

  • 1/2 teaspoon sage dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder not garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small Vidalia onion sliced into 1/2-inch rings, a few rings separated to create varying sizes
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces; may substitute 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 large lemon half the lemon juiced, the other half cut into 5 thin slices
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

pan gravy

  • 1/4 cup pan drippings or a combination of drippings and broth to equal 1/4-cup
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • chicken stock amount will vary dependent upon desired consistency of gravy
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

brine the chicken legs

  • Stir table salt in cold water ensuring the salt dissolves completely and the water is no longer cloudy. Submerge the legs and refrigerate 30-minutes. Remove from the brine and lay on a paper towel to drain. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

prep the vegetables

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Peel and cut carrots, too, or use a cup of baby carrots. Peel the outer skin from a Vidalia. Slice into 1/2-inch rings, separating a few to end up with varying sizes.

mix the rub

  • In a small bowl, mash mayonnaise with soft butter. Add dried sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and smoked paprika. Sprinkle with garlic and onion powders and mash until very well combined. Pat the legs dry and smear the mayonnaise-butter mixture onto each piece.

assemble the roaster in layers

  • First, place onion rings, then potatoes and carrots, and finally lemon slices into the bottom of the roaster in as even a layer as possible. Rest the drumsticks skin side up on the 'rack' of vegetables. Add a small amount of broth, half the juiced lemon, and season with Kosher salt and black pepper.

roast

  • Load into the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 165°F with instant-read thermometer. During the roast, baste the vegetables with the pan juices several times to encourage browning. If at the end the skin requires additional crisping, broil for 2-3 minutes. Do not walk away as drippings are prone to smoking if not monitored. CAREFULLY remove the roaster from the oven. Remove contents to a serving platter. Place aluminum foil over the platter creating a 'loose tent' on top. Rest for 10 to 12-minutes while making the gravy.

pan gravy

  • Place roaster with drippings atop a burner over medium-high heat, handling carefully as it will still be hot. Ladle out some hot liquid into a bowl and add flour. Stir with a fork to break up the flour and stir until smooth. Add the flour mixture back to the drippings and whisk of medium-high heat until thickened. Slowly stream in additional chicken broth, whisking vigorously until reaching desired consistency. This amount could be anywhere from a couple of tablespoons to a cup depending on how thick or thin you like your gravy.
  • Plate a quarter of the roasted vegetables, a drumstick, and any juices that accumulated on the serving platter during the rest onto four plates. Pass the gravy tableside for eaters to spoon over their chicken and veg. Enjoy!

Notes

Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Use table salt or iodized salt only when indicated. This particular recipe calls for both table salt and Kosher salt.
Refrigerate Leftovers in an airtight container under refrigeration up to 3 days. 
Variations to The Method:
  • Incorporate Brussels sprouts or fresh trimmed green beans in conjunction with or in place of the carrots
  • Bone-in chicken thighs my be substituted for the drumsticks but should still be brined
  • Add a garlic cloves just beneath the drumsticks for a garlicky variation of the finished dish
  • Add fresh rosemary branches during the final 10 minutes of the roast, pressing it down until submerged in the drippings

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 565kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 18gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 14425mgPotassium: 896mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 5399IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 2mg
Keyword carbon steel cooking, chicken and potaoes, Chicken Drumsticks, one pan recipes, oven roasted chicken
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Formula For Brine?

According to the USDA, add 1 tablespoon of salt for every cup of water you used and mix until the salt is completely dissolved. For example, if you are using 1 gallon (16 cups) of water, add 16 tablespoons (1 cup) of salt.

Is It Good To Brine Chicken Legs?

Drumsticks benefit from brining. The salt penetrates and breaks down proteins and collegens, loosening muscle fibers and creating gaps that become filled with water. This is how the meat absorbs and retains moisture.

Can You Brine Chicken Legs Too Long?

You can brine for as few as 30 minutes or for as long as one hour, however, not for longer than one hour or the muscle will begin to break down.

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5 Comments

  1. I used thighs and doubled everything and it was a fantastic dinner. I made it for 6 adults and also added Brussel sprouts. Your recipes are always a winner. Thank you so much for sharing!5 stars

    1. Carol, thank you for taking time and complimenting! It was a fun recipe to experiment with and I positively loved shooting the campaign with Athena Skillets. I will be doing more with that roasting pan specifically in the coming months, one to include a Provençale Short Rib so season your roasting pan and have it at the ready! x – Jenny

    1. Christy, this meal is a BREEZE! Kids like it because…well…it involves drumsticks. I love it because it’s pop it into a hot oven and focus on something else. I do hope you will make it and also do let me know how you and yours enjoy it! Jenny