Crunchy Lemonade Drumsticks

Crunchy Lemonade Drumsticks

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 2

    tablespoons grated lemon zest

  • ½

    cup fresh lemon juice

  • 3

    tablespoons packed light brown sugar

  • cup buttermilk

  • 12

    skin-on chicken drumsticks (3½ to 4¼ pounds)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2

    cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

  • 1

    tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • ¼

    cup mayonnaise

  • Olive-oil cooking spray


Mix 1 tablespoon lemon zest and the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add 1 cup water and the sugar and whisk to dissolve, then whisk in the buttermilk. Pierce the drumsticks several times with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the marinade, cover and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring the chicken to room temperature. Put the panko, thyme, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon zest, the cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste in a large resealable plastic bag and shake to mix. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl. Set a rack on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Remove the drumsticks from the marinade, dip in the mayonnaise, then drop into the bag and shake to coat; transfer to the rack. Mist the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes; flip and bake until browned and crisp, 35 to 40 more minutes. Cool completely, then pack in an airtight container.


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