Fragrant Crispy Chicken Legs

Total Time
6hrs 15mins
Prep 5 hrs
Cook 1 hr 15 mins

Here's an authentic Chinese recipe for drumsticks that I used to serve to large parties when I was in the catering business. It's a bit complicated but worth it. They can be frozen at any point along the way - after steaming or after deep frying. (The recipe comes from "The People's Republic of China Cookbook.) Prep time includes several hours marinating tim.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Marinate the drumsticks for 4- 5 hours, refrigerated.
  2. Improvise a steamer (or use one of the Chinese steaming devices).
  3. Steam the drumsticks for one hour, covered with aluminum foil that has several small holes pierced in it.
  4. (Check water level in steamer from time to time to make sure there's still some water left).
  5. Air dry the drumsticks for a couple hours.
  6. When ready to deep fry, dredge the steamed drumsticks with cornstarch.
  7. Heat oil to 350- 375º and cook the drumsticks a few at a time until golden brown.
Most Helpful

Oh man, this chicken is awesome! I didn't think the flavor would be that strong with only a few hours marinating time but they were amazing! I'm obsessed with the chicken wings from Chinese restaurants and have tried many times to re-create them with no sucess; now I finally have the recipe :) Thanks so much for posting, I will be making these again and again.

KLBoyle January 30, 2012

I used this recipe using 20 boneless with skin, chicken thighs, about 5 pounds. I doubled the recipe and marinated them overnight. I steamed them all in one batch for 1 hour and then ended up refrigerating them overnight. I coated them with cornstarch and deep fried them. The flavor was sooooo good and my family loved them, this is a keeper for sure. I want to use this marinade on chicken wings next, the chicken tasted just like chicken wings from chinese restaurants. I ordered "The People's Republic of China" cookbook on ebay for $6.99 and can't wait to try new recipes. My family loves chinese food so I'm always trying to find recipes that taste like the chinese restaurants. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.........Debbie

Mainely Debbie June 09, 2009