Crispy Gluten Free Chicken Drumsticks

These Crispy Gluten Free Chicken Drumsticks are lighter than a fully breaded version.  Lots of spice in the coating packs them with flavour.

We have a social group with some gluten intolerant members so I am always on the lookout for recipes I can serve to please the entire crowd.  I was also really lucky they were on sale!  Scored big time!

Super market tray of chicken drum sticks

These spicy chicken drums  are coated with cornstarch and spices and lightly fried in oil just enough to crisp up the coating.

Cornstarch makes a light yet crisp coating.  The Chinese use cornstarch  a lot.  And cornstarch approximates breading but keeps them gluten free!

The other secret?  I cooked them first in my pressure cooker until they were just before the fall-off-the-bone point.  I let them cool down and then dredged them in the cornstarch and spice mix. You can precook them in the oven if you don’t have a pressure cooker.

Chicken drumsticks in pressure cooker

Refrigerating them for at least 30 minutes or even overnight helps the coating withstand the handling and turning over during the frying.

Coated drumsticks on platter

They were definitely a hit!  In fact -they were such a hit I didn’t get a picture of the finished ones!

These have lots of flavour and bit of heat as they are.  You could serve them with a drizzle of Frank’s Hot sauce or siracha on the side if you really want to amp up the spiciness.

Crispy chicken drumsticks on a platter drizzled with hot sauce.

Crispy Gluten Free Chicken Drums

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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 12 drumsticks


  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks about 12 drums
  • 6 Tbsps cornstarch
  • 5 tsps Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsps garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper


  • Cook drumsticks. In my pressure cooker it took 3 cups of water and the drumsticks cooked on high for 13 minutes to arrive at just before falling-off-the-bone stage. Follow directions for you Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
  • Alternatively preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread drumsticks out on a baking pan and bake 45-60 minutes until drums are cooked through.
  • Allow drumsticks to cool completely. Toss cornstarch and spices in a bag. Toss drumsticks 3 or 4 at time in the mixture. Transfer coated drums to a platter and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot add drums being careful not to crowd them. You may need to heat in batches. When coating is golden and crispy turn the drums to crisp up on all sides. This takes 2-3 minutes per side.
  • If you are working in batches you may need to wipe the old oil out of the pan with a paper towel if you have burnt crumbs at the bottom of the skillet.
  • Transfer hot drums to a tray and serve hot/warm. Pass hot sauce on the side if desired.



Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 557mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.2g

Crispy Gluten Free Chicken Drumsticks

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