Baked buffalo chicken drumsticks that are truly crispy, without the hassle of deep-frying! Read on to discover the trick to making spicy oven-baked drumsticks with crispy skin, every time. This keto Buffalo chicken recipe is low carb and gluten-free.
My family has a slight addiction to Buffalo sauce. My son is probably the most addicted by far and orders Buffalo wings any chance he can. Knowing how much he loves them, I have racked my brains to find a good way to make truly crispy keto Buffalo chicken at home. And I am glad to say that this recipe lives up to the promise. It’s one of his favorites!
There are so many delicious ways to make keto Buffalo chicken. If you love that tangy, spicy sauce as much as we do, be sure to check out these recipes too: Keto Buffalo Chicken Soup, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, and Buffalo Spiced Cocktail Nuts.
Is deep frying healthy?
I love deep fried foods. Who doesn’t, right? The way the outside gets all crisp and browned but the inside stays juicy and tender is nothing short of miraculous.
And I don’t feel guilty eating these things anymore, as long as they are low carb, grain-free and fried in a healthier oil. (The list of “healthier” oils might surprise you…lard is great, soybean and canola, not so much. But I digress…).
There really is no shame in deep-frying, as far as I am concerned. The only reason I don’t do it much myself is that it’s a lot of work and wastes huge amounts of oil. And it makes your house smelled like fried food for at least 24 hours.
Crispy Baked Chicken with Deep-Fried Crunch
Baking usually can’t hold a candle to frying when it comes to cooking chicken. Are you thinking there’s just no way to get that perfectly crispy-skinned chicken when baking? Well, until now, I would have agreed.
I have discovered the secret and I am so excited about it, I have to share the recipe. It would be terribly unkind of me to let you go through your life thinking that the only way to get truly crispy chicken is in a deep fryer. Once I tell you the secret ingredient, you will be astonished at how simple this crispy keto buffalo chicken recipe is to make.
It’s quickly become one of my family’s favourite meals and I daresay it will become one of yours too!
I’d love to tell you that this crispy baked drumsticks discovery was my own, but of course it was not. And chances are that some of you already know this little trick and are laughing that it took me so long to unearth it.
But unearth it I did and I may never deep fry chicken again. Been there, done that and it’s just too much work.
The Secret to Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken
It was my beloved Pinterest that led me to the answer. I found this recipe for on RecipeTin Eats, and I could hardly believe that a simple pantry staple was the trick. Yep, the secret ingredient is….baking powder.
I know I am leaving many of you scratching your heads, wondering what shenanigans I am up to. Baking powder on chicken???
But it really works. If you want to crisp up that skin when oven baking, you need to try it. I am not entirely sure how it works, except that baking powder is mostly sodium bicarbonate, so it’s a salt, and it seems to have a drying effect on the skin of the chicken as it bakes.
And this article on Serious Eats indicates that the alkaline quality of baking powder changes the pH of the chicken skin. It also changes to a gas during the baking process, that leaves a layer of tiny bubbles on the skin.
You could get the same effect with baking soda, but I advise against trying it. It’s much saltier and much stronger in flavor, so your chicken will taste simply of baking soda and not much more.
I test drove the method on some chicken wings first, and it worked perfectly. And it occurred to me it would work well on drumsticks too. My kids adore drumsticks (or “chicken on the bone”, as they like to call them), and they provide an easy and inexpensive meal for my hungry family.
You can really use any sauce you want here. Just cook the drummies with their coating of baking powder, salt and pepper and then finish with your favourite sauce or glaze. Low carb barbecue sauce, or try Kalyn’s sugar-free teriyaki sauce.
Simple, easy and seriously crispy. This method for Crispy Baked Chicken works every time.
More delicious keto chicken recipes
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables
- Easy Mediterranean Chicken Bake
- Keto Jalapeno Popper Casserole
- Keto White Chicken Chili
- Keto Chicken Cheese Bake
- Creamy Lemon Chicken
Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken
- 3 1/2 lbs chicken drumsticks or a mix of thighs and drumsticks
- 2 tbsp baking powder not baking soda!
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp butter melted (use coconut oil for paleo)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup buffalo sauce (depending on how saucy you like them)
- Preheat oven to 250F and set a wire cooling rack over a large baking sheet (line the sheet with tinfoil for easier clean up). Spray rack with cooking oil (I like Kelapo coconut oil spray).
- Pat drumsticks dry and place in a large ziploc bag. Add baking powder, salt and pepper and shake vigorously to coat.
- Lay drumsticks in a single layer on prepared rack and place rack in the lower third of the oven. Bake 30 minutes, then increase temperature to 425F and move tray to upper middle rack of oven. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until well browned and crisp.
- In a small bowl, combine melted butter and buffalo sauce. Brush over drumsticks or toss them in a bowl to coat. At this point, you can return them to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, if you like the sauce to be baked on.