Pan-Fried Lemon Pepper Chicken Drumsticks

Pan-Fried Lemon Pepper Chicken Drumsticks Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 drumsticks
Author Victor


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


  • Heat olive oil and butter in a cast iron pan over 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)