Paula Roy: Whole Foods in Half the Time


Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

A yummy, healthy alternative to fried chicken

by: Paula Roy

You know it’s a great meal when you make extras and there are no leftovers. That’s what happens every time I prepare these crunchy, flavourful drumsticks which my family prefers over fried chicken. One of the reasons I love this recipe is that you can pop the chicken pieces into the marinade and put it in the freezer; I usually have several packages tucked away in there so on a busy day I can just pull them out, defrost carefully during the day and  then they’re in the oven in just minutes. Another bonus of this recipe is that cornflake crumbs are fortified with vitamins, so they are packed with nutrition! If your family likes things spicy, feel free to add a little chili powder, paprika, cayenne or other seasonings to the crumbs prior to dipping the chicken pieces. This chicken is as delicious cold as it is hot, making it an ideal dish for a picnic or pot luck.


1 cup buttermilk
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 – 2 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco, Frank’s, etc.)
12 chicken drumsticks
1 – 1.5 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tbsp melted butter



Combine the buttermilk, garlic, onion, Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon (5 g) each of salt and pepper, paprika, lemon juice and hot sauce in a bowl and stir until evenly combined.

Put the chicken in a large ziplock bag just large enough to hold it and pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate 12 - 24 hours, turning once.

If you want to freeze the chicken in the buttermilk brine; just squeeze the air out as you seal it in the ziplock bag and put in the freezer. Let it thaw safely and completely before proceeding.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and then fit a wire rack inside it (to elevate the chicken so it gets crispy on all sides). Set aside.

Place the Corn Flake Crumbs in a shallow dish (I use a pie plate) and season with salt and pepper (and other seasonings, as mentioned above, if your family likes things spicy).

Remove the pieces of chicken one at a time from the buttermilk marinade, letting the excess drip off for a moment.      

Place the chicken pieces, also one at a time, in the Corn Flake Crumbs, turning to coat completely and pressing the crumbs onto the chicken to adhere. Set the coated chicken on the wire rack on the baking tray.

When all the chicken is crumb-coated, drizzle the melted butter evenly over the chicken.

Bake until golden and crispy and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the largest piece of chicken registers 165°F, about 30 – 35 minutes.

Refrigerate if not serving within 20 minutes.

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