Utah Bites

Air Fryer Chicken Legs

Paprika-rubbed chicken leg recipe was the first air fryer food I cooked and I have to admit that the result was excellent. 


To be honest, I was skeptical about the value of air fryers for years, thinking they were just the latest pointless kitchen appliance fad. But I recently read an article by a chef I have a lot of respect for heralding the usefulness of air fryers. So, after doing some research I went out and bought one. And I have to admit, the results have been pretty great. I’ve been cooking using or adapting some recipes from America’s Test Kitchen’s Air Fryer Perfection cookbook, including this one for paprika-rubbed chicken legs. It was the first air fryer food I cooked and I have to admit that the result was excellent. 


  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 4-5 (5-ounce) chicken drumsticks, trimmed
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 scallion, green part only, sliced thin on bias


  1. Combine the paprika, sugar, garlic powder, mustard, salt, and pepper in a bowl. 
  2. Pat the drumsticks dry with paper towels. Using a metal skewer of knife tip, poke 10 to 15 holes in the skin of each drumstick. Rub the chicken legs with the oil and sprinkle them evenly with the spice mixture. 
  3. Arrange the drumsticks in an air fryer basket, spaced evenly apart, alternating ends. Place the basket into the air fryer and set the temperature to 400 degrees F. Cook until chicken is crisp and registers 195 degrees F, 22 to 25 minutes, flipping and rotating the chicken pieces halfway through cooking. 
  4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. 
  5. Sprinkle with the scallion slices and serve. 



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Food writer Ted SchefflerOriginally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.

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