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Air Fryer Crispy Curry Chicken Legs garnished with peanuts and chilis.
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5 from 7 votes

Air Fryer Crispy Curry Chicken Legs

Try our finger-licking-good Air Fryer Crispy Curry Chicken Legs for a spicy, savory, and sweet bite of Thai heaven.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Marinating Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 6 chicken drumsticks
Calories: 97kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • air fryer Oven and Grilling Directions included


Massaman Curry Paste (or use store-bought)

  • 3 extra large garlic cloves or 6 medium peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup peanuts roasted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest or zest from 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce


  • 6 chicken legs (drumsticks) prepped and dried well with a paper towel or about 2 pounds (each leg is about 4 ounces and has about 1.5 ounces of chicken meat without the skin and bones – plan on two per person or more if you have a hungry crew.)
  • salt and pepper as desired
  • massaman curry paste ingredients above or can use store bought
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or sugar alternative of choice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • spray oil to prevent sticking

Garnishes - optional

  • peanuts roasted and crushed
  • cilantro, green onions and chili peppers


Make the massaman curry ( or you can use pre-made from the market )

  • Place all ingredients for the massaman curry (garlic, salt, peanuts, Thai red curry paste, zest of 1 lime, cumin, cinnamon and fish sauce) in a food processor or use mortar and pestle to blend well.
    If having a hard time getting the ingredients to blend in the food processor, add 1 teaspoon of water or coconut milk at a time just to get it going.
    On the other hand, if you are using a mortar and pestle, bash and blend together all ingredients, except the fish sauce. Stir fish sauce in last so you don't make a mess.
  • Stir in honey and oil into the massaman curry paste. Set aside.
  • Dry chicken drumsticks well and season on all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Place the chicken legs in a big bowl or in a large sealable plastic bag. Add in the homemade massaman curry paste with the added honey and oil and rub well to cover the whole surface of the chicken legs. We used gloves and did this with our hands. Allow to chicken legs to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight covered in the refrigerator.
    Marinating allows the flavors to develop and penetrate the chicken. If you do not have the time to marinate, these massaman glazed chicken legs are still delicious.

Air Fry Directions

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Spray the air fryer tray and the chicken legs with spray oil.
    Air fry chicken drumsticks for about 15 minutes and then flip over on the other side and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Chicken drumsticks are cooked when the juices run clear, the chicken is golden brown and/ or the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Cook time will vary, depending on how large your drumsticks are.

Oven Baked Chicken Drumstick Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Line the baking tray and grease well to prevent sticking. Bake the chicken drumsticks uncovered in the middle rack of the oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10minutes or until the chicken juices run clear, the chicken legs are golden brown and/or the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F.

Grilling Directions

  • Preheat your grill to a medium heat or about 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Clean, prepare and grease grill grates. Spray your chicken legs with a little oil spray or drizzle or a little extra olive oil to prevent sticking. Grill chicken legs on the grill covered (indirect heat) for about 35 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 165 F and the juices run clear. Periodically turn the chicken legs so they get crispy on all sides.

Garnishes (optional)

  • Garnish Air Fryer Crispy Curry Chicken Legs with roasted crushed peanuts, cilantro, chili peppers and fresh limes if desired. Enjoy!



Nutrition information is for 1 chicken drumstick. Hungry adults will want 2 drumsticks. There is enough Massaman curry marinade to make a total of 8 chicken legs if desired. 
How to Reheat leftovers?
The best way is to reheat crispy chicken legs is in your air fryer or oven at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) Place the chicken legs back in the air fryer or oven for approximately 6 minutes or until warmed through and the skin is crispy again.
Can you cook frozen chicken drumsticks in the air fryer?
Absolutely! Did you forget to thaw your chicken legs before you left for work in the morning? No worries, just follow the recipe and then plan on increasing your cook time for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 f (74 degrees C)
How long can you keep cooked chicken legs in the refrigerator?
You can keep cooked chicken up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or can be frozen for up to 4 months.
You can also make this recipe with chicken thighs or mid section wings but you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. 


Serving: 1chicken drumstick | Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 571mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg