Maple Thyme Chicken Legs

I don’t know about you but after a long day at work, or a busy day out and about, the last thing I want is dinner that takes any kind of effort to prepare.  This is about as easy as they come.

Maple Thyme Chicken Legs

That is why I love, and adore, chicken legs!  They make dinner so easy.  They require little attention, cook within 45 minutes, and they are admired and loved by young and old alike.  I also love that you can eat them with your hands!

Maple Thyme Chicken Legs

Of course, this recipe is also good for whole chickens and turkeys.  I would recommend doubling the marinade for a whole chicken, and for a turkey make four times the recipe.   Also, for whole birds just make sure to get some of this marinade under the skin and inside the cavity.  Also, if you stuff the cavity with fresh thyme and lemon husks it perfumes the meat and adds another layer to the flavor.

Maple Thyme Chicken Legs    Yield 4 servings (8 legs)

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if desired
Fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
8 chicken legs, skin on

Maple Thyme Chicken Legs

In a zip-top bag mix the thyme, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper, maple syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest.   Add the chicken and massage to coat evenly.  Let the chicken sit on the counter for thirty minutes, or you can refrigerate overnight.

Maple Thyme Chicken Legs

Heat the oven to 400 F and cover a baking sheet with foil then spray with non stick spray.  Place the chicken on the sheet, making sure there is plenty of room around the chicken legs.  Cook for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the skin is brown and the meat reaches 160 F.  Let the chicken rest ten minutes before serving.

Maple Thyme Chicken Legs


Maple Thyme Chicken Legs

© 2009, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • Yummy chicken! I love making chicken legs for our kids – easy and tasty. This sounds like a winner of a recipe.

  • I’ll admit I was intrigued by the oddity of these flavors, but now I am sort of craving this pairing of flavors.

  • This a great week night thing to make. I’m usually a little funny about maple but I can see you offset that with the smoked paprike, which I love, the cumin and lemon. I may very well rub this on my turkey and I am all over those dark chocolate chip brownies too!

  • Winner, winner chicken dinner!! Funny, I would have never thought to pair maple syrup with chicken, but I guess it does bring a sweetness to it. ;-D

  • I love this marinade, I will definitely try it!

  • mmmmh. this is one of the most savory chicken legs I have seen. Yum Yum!

  • I’m going to try this with a whole chicken. It looks so tasty that I think the legs would be gone way too fast!

  • I like that you mentioned this could be used for turkey as well as chicken legs. I haven’t decided how I’m going to do my turkey yet and this looks like a winning combination.

  • I love marinating meats. You can return home from a crazy day and have a delicious dinner ready in a snap.

  • Hmm… Maple and thyme are a new flavor combination for me, but I’m thinking it sounds pretty good! I’ll have to give it a try.

  • I have a bunch of chicken legs in my freezer that I bought on sale – now I know what I’m going to do with some of them!

  • This looks more finger licking good that KFC!

  • Wow, those chicken legs look very sexy. And yes to simple dishes after a day’s work but still flavorful.

  • I never think to buy chicken legs, but you’re right – they are easy and loved by all. Plus, this marinade sounds awesome. I’ll have to put legs on my list this week!

  • Mmm, this sounds scrummy. I have recently discovered the amazing deliciousness of smoked paprika, so I’m excited to see that in the mix. I might have to make this for dinner..

  • These look awesome and I am totally with you on the amount of time to prepare dinner after a long day at work. LOVE these – they will definitely make the winter food roster in my house!

  • I’m always on the lookout for new chicken (dark meat) recipes. Thanks for posting!

  • Hands down my favorite part of the chicken is the leg. It’s just so much fun to eat:) The seasoning you put on this looks great…yum!

  • I made this for dinner tonight. My kids loved it! Thanks for a great new recipe. 🙂

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  • After a long day, who wants to use a knife and fork 😉

    Great marinade, love maple and thyme in the fall.

  • Terri

    This was delicious! I made this with thighs as a freezer meal (put marinade on meat then freeze) and it come out very well. I will do this again.

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  • I am so excited to try this recipe! i love anything that incorporate cumin and paprika :), i didnt have dried thyme so i sub’ed for oregano.. hope it turns out great, it smells amazing! thank you

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