How Long to Boil Chicken Legs?

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By: Rachae's Nosheri


Chicken legs are one of the most popular and versatile ingredients in any kitchen. They can be boiled, baked, fried, grilled or roasted and taste delicious no matter what cooking method you choose. Boiling chicken legs is an easy way to get a flavorful meal on the table quickly. 

So, how long does it take to boil chicken legs?just around 20-35 minutes.

Here, you’ll find all the tips and tricks on how long to boil chicken legs so that these delicious morsels turn out perfectly cooked every time! Learn how to achieve succulent, juicy results without ever having to guess in the kitchen again.


What Temperature to Boil Chicken Legs?

How Long to Boil Chicken Legs

When it comes to cooking chicken legs, the best temperature is 375°F (190°C). You can use a thermometer to test the internal temperature of the chicken legs before removing them from the heat. The internal temperature should read 165°F (74°C) when tested in the thickest part of the leg.

How Long to Boil Chicken Legs?

The boiling time required for chicken legs may vary depending on factors such as the size, quantity, and whether they are fresh or frozen. To achieve the desired level of doneness, it’s recommended to consult the cooking time chart provided below.

Cooking time chart:

  • Fresh chicken drumsticks: Boil for approximately 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Frozen chicken drumsticks: Boil for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Chicken leg quarters: Boil for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Frozen chicken leg quarters: Boil for 25 to 35 minutes.

Please note that using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C), which indicates that it is safe to eat.

The Benefits of Boiling Chicken Legs

How Long to Boil Chicken Legs

Boiling chicken legs has many advantages, including the fact that it tenderizes the meat by breaking down the connective tissues and collagen. This makes the chicken legs more tender and juicy, which is especially useful for tougher cuts of meat.

Boiling also allows for versatility in the type of dishes that can be made with chicken legs, as the cooked meat can be easily shredded and used in various recipes such as soups, stews, salads, and sandwiches.

Additionally, boiling chicken legs is an easy and straightforward cooking method that requires minimal preparation.

It is also a cost-effective way to make a flavorful and nutritious meal, as chicken legs are an inexpensive cut of meat.

Lastly, boiling is a quick and easy way to prepare chicken legs, as the boiling time is generally shorter than other cooking methods, making it a convenient option for busy weeknight meals.

How To Boil Chicken Legs?


  • 4-6 chicken legs
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)
  • Herbs or spices (optional)


  1. Wash the chicken legs by running them under cold water and use paper towels to dry them by gently pressing the surface.
  2. Place the chicken legs in a pot of significant size and cover them with water. Make sure there is water to fully submerge the chicken legs.
  3. Add salt and any herbs or spices of your choice to the water, if desired.
  4. Heat the water on high until it boils, then lower the heat to medium-low and allow the chicken legs to simmer softly.
  5. Remove any froth or unwanted substances that come up to the top of the water by using a spoon to skim them away.
  6. Boil the legs of the chicken until they attain a temperature of 165°F (74°C) internally, which is regarded as the safe temperature to consume them. Depending on the size and quantity of the chicken legs, this can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. After the chicken legs have been cooked completely, remove them from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate or cutting board.
  8. Allow the chicken legs to cool down for a couple of minutes before serving or incorporating them into a recipe.

What Can be Served Alongside Boiled Chicken Legs?

Boiled chicken legs can be paired with a variety of side dishes to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal. Here are some ideas:

  • Steamed or roasted vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, carrots, or Brussels sprouts
  • Mashed or roasted potatoes
  • Rice or quinoa
  • Grilled or roasted cobs of corn
  • Salad with fresh greens and vegetables
  • Bread or dinner rolls
  • Grilled or roasted fruits, such as peaches or pineapple

The specific side dishes that are best to serve with boiled chicken legs depend on personal preference and the occasion. It’s always a good idea to choose sides that complement the flavor and texture of the chicken legs.

Tips for Perfectly Boiling Chicken Legs

– Always make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken legs reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are safe to eat.

– To keep the chicken legs juicy, try not to overcook them by monitoring the boiling time and using a meat thermometer.

– For extra flavor, add salt or herbs and spices of your choice to the boiling water.

– If desired, you can deglaze the pot with some white wine or chicken broth after cooking the chicken legs, as this will add flavor to the sauce.

– Allow the cooked chicken legs to cool down before serving them or incorporating them into a recipe. This will help ensure that they retain their juiciness.

– To achieve perfectly cooked chicken legs, make sure to leave enough room between them in the pot so that the boiling water can reach all sides of each leg.

– Finally, when reheating boiled chicken legs, it’s important to heat them up slowly over low heat until they are warm all the way through. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out.


What is The Best Way to Season Boiled Chicken Legs?

The best way to season boiled chicken legs is to add herbs and spices of your choice, such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, or thyme, directly to the boiling water.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken Legs for Boiling?

Yes, you can boil frozen chicken legs. However, you should make sure that they are completely thawed before adding them into the cooking vessel as this will ensure even cooking throughout. 

How Long Do I Boil Chicken Legs?

The specific cooking time depends on the size and quantity of the chicken legs, but it typically takes around 20-30 minutes for them to reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Can I Reuse The Boiling Water After Cooking Chicken Legs?

Yes, you can reuse the boiling water after cooking the chicken legs. However, it’s important to make sure that it is still clean and free from any debris. 

Can I Freeze Boiled Chicken Legs?

Yes, boiled chicken legs can be frozen for about 3 months. To ensure that they stay fresh, make sure to store them in an airtight container or freezer bag and allow them to cool completely before freezing.

Why is Chicken Tough After Boiling?

If the chicken legs are overcooked, they can become tough and dry.


Boiling chicken legs is a great way to heat them up and make a nutritious meal. From start to finish, the process can take anywhere from 20-35 minutes depending on how you prefer your chicken cooked. To ensure that your chicken legs come out juicy, tender, and delicious, be sure that you are accurately timing your boil time and checking for doneness. 

Furthermore, when boiling chicken legs in a pot of hot water on the stovetop, be sure to season your water with salt and herbs to add extra flavor during the cooking process. Once properly cooked, be sure to let them rest for at least five minutes before serving.

With these tips in mind, you should now have all the knowledge necessary to create an amazing boiled chicken leg dish for yourself, friends and family.

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Rachae's Nosheri

Rachael’s Nosheri is a Jewish deli located in 120 S. 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. We serve breakfast and lunch comfort foods and deli sandwiches. Our extensive menu and reasonable prices make us a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Our food is pretty good if you’re in the mood for deli sandwiches, and we’re known for our American, Bagels, Breakfast, Lunch Specials, and Sandwiches.

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