Crunchy Breaded Baked Italian Chicken Legs are moist and flavorful. Pack them in your summertime picnic basket and everyone will be happy!
This is my updated riff on the old favorite of Shake ‘n Bake chicken from when I was growing up.
This recipe for Baked Italian Chicken Legs actually has nothing at all to do with the flavors of Shake ‘n Bake (which was far too salty for my taste). It’s only the preparation method that is the same.
The ingredients are put into a bag, the chicken is added, and then it’s time to shake…and bake. What could be easier?
**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Breaded Baked Italian Chicken Legs is available near the end of this post.
The ingredient list;
- Chicken Legs (about 4 pounds)
- Seasoned Breadcrumbs
- Parmesan Cheese
- Dried Basil
- Dried Oregano
- Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil Spray
I’ll be honest with you, sometimes trying to take mouthwatering “beauty shots” of the food I make for the blog is harder for me than the making of the food itself. Some foods just don’t want to cooperate with the camera, and these Breaded Baked Italian Chicken Legs are one of those non-cooperative foods.
These Breaded Italian Chicken Legs are so moist and tasty, and the recipe is so easy to follow. The fact that the pictures aren’t exactly mouthwatering isn’t bothering me all that much. Well, maybe just a tiny bit…but I’ll get over it because this chicken is just so darned finger licking’ good!
What is the proper internal temperature for cooked chicken legs?
The proper way to check the internal temperature of cooked chicken legs is with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meaty leg, but without touching the bone.
The temperature should read 165-degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.
If the chicken doesn’t read 165-degrees Fahrenheit (or 75-degrees Celsius), return the chicken to the oven until it reaches the proper temperature.
Is there a way to check the doneness of a chicken leg without a meat thermometer?
While a meat thermometer is always the best bet, another way of checking if the chicken is completely cooked is to pierce a chicken leg (to the bone) with a paring knife or skewer, and if the juices run clear without any pink colorations, the chicken is done.
However, IF the juices still show signs of pink return the legs back to the oven until it is completely cooked and can pass the “clear juices” test.
The easy instructions for making baked Italian chicken legs;
- Add all of the ingredients (except for the chicken legs and olive oil spray) into a large zip-top bag.
- Shake well to combine.
- Gently rinse the chicken legs under slowly running water (to avoid splashing) and add them to the zip-top bag with the dry ingredients.
- Close the bag and shake the legs gently to coat all sides.
- Remove the coated legs to a baking sheet lined with a rack (for better heat circulation and to crisp the legs on all sides).
- Lightly spray each coated leg with a touch of olive oil spray.
- Bake the legs in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until the juices run clear.
- Remove the legs from the oven and cool completely and refrigerate, OR serve the legs hot or at room temperature. *Caution – Do NOT allow the legs to sit for more than 1½ – 2 hours at room temperature. If it’s extremely hot outside, make sure the chicken won’t sit out for longer than 45 minutes before being consumed.
**The following affiliate links are some suggested products I’ve chosen that will aid you in the making and serving of this recipe for Breaded Italian Baked Chicken Legs if desired.
Below is the printable recipe card for today’s Breaded Baked Italian Chicken Legs.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe and look forward to making it (or have already made it), I’d appreciate if you’d take a moment to give it some feedback by way of stars near the comment section at the end of this post. Thank you so much!
- 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 12 each chicken legs skin on
- olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Place the first 7 ingredients into a gallon sized zip-top bag and shake well to combine.
Rinse the chicken legs under slowly running water (to avoid splashing) and add them (3 or 4 legs at a time) to the bag with the breadcrumb mixture. Shake well to coat the chicken legs on all sides.
Remove the coated legs from the bag and place the chicken legs on to baking sheet fitted with a rack.
Continue the same process with the remaining legs and breadcrumb mixture.
Spray each leg with a light coating of olive oil spray.
Place the chicken legs into the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the juices run clear. *Note - you can test this by piercing a leg with a knife or skewer into the thickest part of the leg.
Once cooked through you can serve the legs hot or allow them to cool slightly and serve them warm. If you're planning on serving them cold, cool them completely before wrapping them well and refrigerating until ready to eat.
Never allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for more than 1½ - 2 hours.
If serving the chicken on a very hot day, don't allow the chicken to sit for more than 45 - 60 minutes before consuming, and then refrigerate any leftovers immediately.
Wrapped well, this chicken will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s recipe for Baked Italian Chicken Legs as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!
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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!
**Note – The post above includes affiliate links. As always, I truly thank you for your support!