Bright and citrusy chicken drumsticks with smoky hints of paprika, cumin and coriander are roasted with baby potatoes and red onions. An easy and flavorful one-pan dinner. This chicken is delicious cold too, make it ahead of time for picnics and parties!
Oh, this chicken! It's so tasty, with flavors of citrus, paprika, spices, garlic and thyme. This is a meal with layers of subtle flavor that will satisfy adults at the table without being too overpowering for kids.
I love a good sheet pan meal, don't you?
What is there not to love about an entire meal that cooks on one pan? Flavorful chicken, soft baby potatoes and strips of red onion all reach perfection at the same time.
Just between you and me, though, what would make this dinner really amazing is a side of crunchy slaw. Next time, slaw will definitely be on the menu. And there will be a next time, because this citrus and thyme chicken is too good not to revisit.
Although this meal has a summery feel to it - this is the type of chicken you can see yourself packing in a basket and eating at a picnic - the recipe was inspired by winter citrus.
Late winter is my favorite time of year in LA. It's when the lemon and orange trees in our backyard are heavy with citrus fruit, tart lemons and small juicy oranges intertwined on the branches. It's an embarrassment of riches, and hard to keep up.
We've made lemon sorbet and orange popsicles and have squeezed many glasses of fresh orange juice. Lemon vinaigrette is on heavy rotation and marinades like this one - with both orange and lemon juice added - are what cooking seasonal food is all about in Southern California right now.
If the weather is less bright and citrusy where you live, then that's all the more reason to make this easy dinner. It will bring a shot of much needed sunshine into your life.
Here's a tip: Make the citrus & thyme marinade the night before so the drumsticks have plenty of time to soak up all the flavor. The next evening at 5pm, slide a sheet pan of chicken and potatoes into the oven, then go relax while dinner cooks itself. You deserve it!
How Long Does it Take for Drumsticks to Cook in the Oven?
At 425 F, drumsticks should be cooked in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the drumstick. You can turn the drumsticks in the last 15 minutes of cooking so that both sides brown. I always use a meat thermometer to make sure chicken is done. A meat thermometer stuck into the middle of the drumstick near the bone should read 165 F.
Can I Make Sheet Pan Chicken and Potatoes with Chicken Thighs?
Yes. You can make this recipes with chicken drumsticks, thighs or legs. Chicken thighs and drumsticks usually take 35 to 45 minutes to bake. Chicken legs (thigh and drumstick attached) often take closer to an hour to bake.
More Sheet Pan Dinners You'll Love
- Sheet Pan Soy Sauce Chicken and Broccoli
- Sheet Pan Greek Chicken Breasts
- Sheet Pan Honey Mustard Chicken and Cauliflower
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Green Beans with Sesame Lime Dressing
This recipe was adapted from Picnic Chicken on Dinner a Love Story.
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Citrus and Thyme Sheet Pan Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes
Sheet pan chicken and potatoes are flavored with a citrus and thyme marinade that gives this one pan meal amazing flavor. The chicken is bright and citrusy with smoky hints of paprika, cumin and coriander.
Don’t forget - the chicken drumsticks need to marinate 12 to 24 hours (the longer the better) so make the marinade the night before.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 10 to 15 drumsticks 1x
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Sheet Pan Baked
- Cuisine: American
- 3 to 4 pounds chicken drumsticks (10 to 15 drumsticks)
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- ⅓ cup orange juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (2 medium lemons)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with your palm
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced in half, then slice each half into 4 wedges and pull apart the pieces
- 1 to 2 pounds baby, marble or fingerling potatoes*
*Buy the smallest potatoes you can find, like baby "marble” potatoes often sold in a small mesh bag. Fingerlings work too. The idea is that you don’t want to cut or slice the potatoes, you just want to dump them right on the sheet pan. The smaller the potato, the more likely that it will cook completely while the drumsticks bake.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients: soy sauce, olive oil, honey or maple syrup, orange juice, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, coriander, garlic and thyme. Pour the marinade over the chicken drumsticks, either in a large baking pan or in a ziploc plastic bag or two. Put the chicken in the refrigerator and marinate 12 to 24 hours (the longer the better).
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- For easier clean-up, cover two rimmed sheets pans pans in parchment.
- Divide the potatoes and red onion between two sheet pans. Toss in a light coating of olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Take the chicken out of the marinade (discard marinade) and evenly space the drumsticks out on the rimmed sheets pans with the potatoes and red onion. Use tongs to pluck the garlic cloves out of the marinade and place the garlic on the sheet pan too.
- Roast until the drumsticks are nicely browned and the potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.
This recipe can also be made with bone-in chicken thighs or chicken legs. Chicken legs will need a slightly longer cooking time.
Keywords: sheet pan chicken, baked drumsticks