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Pan-Fried Lemon Pepper Chicken Drumsticks

Pan-Seared Lemon Pepper Chicken Drumsticks

Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fried drumsticks, seared drumsticks
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 drumsticks
Calories: 186kcal
Author: Victor
Print Recipe


  • 8 chicken drumsticks about 2.5 lbs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 scallions for garnish
  • 1 lemon cut into 4-6 wedges, for garnish

For the lemon pepper seasoning

  • 2 ½ tsp kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2 ½ Tbsp lemon zest about one large lemon
  • 4 tsp black pepper ground,; or black/red/white pepper medley


  • Combine the salt, lemon zest and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken drumsticks and toss well to ensure even coating.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter starts to smoke and turns dark brown in color, add the drumsticks and sear, uncovered, for about 1-2 minutes, until the skin is nicely browned. Flip and brown on the other side. You can also brown the sides by turning the drumsticks on their sides. To make sure they stay in that position the drumsticks need to be supported. To do that, place one drumstick next to the side wall of the pan, then add the rest of the drumsticks right next to each other.
  • Once done searing, flip one more time, turn the heat down to the lowest position, cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 17-20 minutes, flipping and turning every 5-7 minutes, until the meat at the bone reaches 185F-190F.
  • Garnish with chopped scallions and lemon wedges and serve immediately with your favorite side dish.


To adjust the lemon pepper seasoning depending on the weight of drumsticks, use the following guidelines which I find work very well:
1. Start with 1 heaping teaspoon of salt (sea, Himalayan or kosher) per pound of wings. This will ensure against over or under-salting
2. For every teaspoon of salt use 1 tablespoons of fresh lemon zest
3. For every teaspoon of salt use 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper (or black/red/white pepper medley)


Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 807mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 10.4mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.7mg