Japanese Roasted Lemon Chicken Legs recipe Paleo Whole30 Keto chicken recipe from I Heart Umami
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5 from 15 votes

Japanese Roasted Lemon Chicken Legs (or Drumsticks) Recipe

Savory and lemony Japanese Roasted Lemon Chicken Legs recipe with juicy flavorful meat and crispy skins. This Paleo Whole30 and Keto crispy chicken legs/drumsticks recipe is great for roasting, grilling, and barbecuing. Simple, easy, and bursting with flavor. It’ll become your favorite crispy lemon chicken recipe ! 
Course Main
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 381kcal
Author ChihYu


  • Two whole chicken legs about 1 to 1.25 lbs, skin on and bone-in
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • Half of one whole lemon juice for marinade plus more before serving
  • Cooking fat of your choice ghee, avocado, or coconut oil


  • Use a fork to poke/pierce a few holes all over chicken legs. Gently rub the chicken front and back, over the skin and in-between (between the skin and the meat pocket) with dry spice seasonings (pepper, salt, ginger, and garlic powder). Marinate the legs overnight with coconut aminos and lemon juice.*
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Heat 2 tbsp cooking fat of your choice over a large cast iron skillet. When hot, lower the heat to medium, slightly drip off the marinade. Place the chicken skin side down first and pan fry until golden brown (about 7-8 minutes). Pan fry the flip side for an additional 5-6 minutes. Place the legs over a wire rack lined with parchment paper. Pour the chicken juice and oil from the skillet over the legs and bake.
  • Bake at 400F, lower rack for 35 minutes (check after 25 mins) or until the thickest part of the legs reach 165F with a meat thermometer.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot or in room temperature with more lemon wedges and a side of fresh leafy green salad.


*If you marinate the chicken legs in glass containers, place meat side down and skin side up so that the meaty part will soak up more marinade juice.
* Swap chicken legs for chicken drumsticks or wings. Make sure to poke/pierce the skin and meaty side with a fork a few times before adding seasonings and sauce. Marinate overnight in the fridge.


Serving: 205g | Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 27.5g | Saturated Fat: 7.5g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 890mg | Potassium: 261mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3% | Vitamin C: 16% | Calcium: 2% | Iron: 8%