Are you looking for the best chicken leg quarter recipes? If so, we’ve got the perfect recipe for baked chicken leg quarters.
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When I was growing up, my grandmother made a delicious chicken and rice recipe that called for chicken leg and thigh quarters. There was never a chicken and rice dish that I loved as much as I loved that one. She insisted that you had to use thigh and leg quarters to make it because dark meat was the juiciest.
I’ve made chicken and rice with white meat, but I have to agree with my grandmother. There’s just something extra juicy about dark meat chicken. The thigh and drumstick have more fat than white meat, and that’s why it’s so much juicier.
Many people believe that the chicken and thigh leg quarters are the tastiest part of the chicken. Full of flavor and meat goodness, chicken leg quarters are also very inexpensive and can serve a crowd for just a few dollars.
Chicken leg quarters don’t need to be brined. They’re ready to cook as soon as you get them home from the store. Following our favorite recipe (below), you can serve up a delicious chicken dinner with just five minutes of prep time.
Are you ready to cook some juicy and tender chicken leg quarters? Read on.
What Are Chicken Leg Quarters?
Chicken leg quarters are the dark portion of the chicken. This delicious chicken piece is made up of the chicken thigh and the chicken drumstick (chicken legs).
One of the great things about this tasty chicken piece is that chicken leg quarters are the cheapest chicken parts you can buy. You’ll sometimes see the chicken leg quarters called the whole leg.
Since they are dark meat, chicken leg quarters are super flavorful and they have a somewhat higher fat content than the chicken breast or chicken tenderloin. Also, chicken leg quarters (dark meat chicken) have myoglobin, which is what makes this chicken part red in color.
Because they have more fat, chicken leg quarters are less likely to dry out during cooking. White meat chicken is more prone to becoming too dry in the cooking process.
You can buy chicken legs and chicken thighs separately, but the “whole leg” is when you buy the two pieces together. You can cook chicken leg quarters with the bone in or separate the chicken thigh from the chicken legs.
How to Bake Chicken Leg Quarters
Are you wondering how long to bake chicken leg quarters at 400 degrees Fahrenheit? This chicken leg quarters recipe will take about 50 minutes to cook at 400 degrees. Even better, chicken leg quarters need just five minutes of prep time. Below, we list the steps for making this delicious chicken leg quarters recipe.
Be sure to thoroughly pat your chicken leg quarters dry after you rinse them. This will ensure that the oil and spices adhere nicely, giving you deliciously crispy skin.
For seasoning, you can be as creative as you want. This recipe calls for chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder, but feel free to add some of your own favorite spices and seasonings.
Before you bake your chicken leg quarters, you need to sear them in a heavy skillet on the stovetop. This will ensure that your chicken leg quarters have the perfect crispy skin you’re looking for.
Here’s a great tip for cooking chicken leg quarters. Although chicken is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing the chicken leg quarters to cook for 25 minutes beyond this point will result in the perfect chicken leg quarters.
What Goes Well With Chicken Quarters Roasted?
Do you need some ideas for side dishes to serve with your main dish roasted chicken quarters? We’ve got tons of suggestions for you.
Any type of potato dish is perfect with this chicken quarter recipe. We love mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and potatoes au gratin. If you want something easier, you can go with French fries that you air fry in the air fryer. Here are some more great ideas.
- Air fryer French fries
- Instant Pot mashed potatoes
- Air fryer or crock pot baked potato
- BBQ sauce
- Green salad
- Macaroni and cheese
- Steamed summer squash
Do you want more ideas for chicken leg quarters side dishes? Check out some of the roundups below.
More Chicken Recipes
You can cook so many great dishes with chicken quarters (or just a huge chicken leg pack!). However, other parts of the chicken can be used to make recipe ideas such as roasted chicken, baked chicken and rice (comfort food!), baked chicken and veggies, and more. Besides chicken quarters, you can make any of the delicious recipe ideas below with chicken breast, chicken leg quarters, chicken thigh packs, chicken wings, or any other chicken piece.
Add-ins and seasoning ideas such as chicken broth, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, olive oil, smoked paprika, and garlic cloves all make the delicious flavor of dark meat chicken leg quarters stand out.
Our BEST Chicken Leg Quarter Recipe
- 6-8 chicken leg quarters
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons onion powder granulated onion
- 1 Tablespoon spicy ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for rubbing on the chicken leg quarters
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil to fry the chicken leg quarters
- Heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dry the chicken leg quarter pieces thoroughly with paper towels after you rinse them under running water.
- Place the chicken leg quarters in a pan and rub them with olive oil.
- Mix together the seasoning mix in a medium bowl.
- Sprinkle the seasoning evenly on both of the chicken leg quarter sides. Pat gently to make sure the seasoning sticks well to the chicken leg quarters.
- Heat up 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet using medium-high heat.
- Cook the chicken leg quarters in two batches. First, sear the chicken leg quarters for two minutes on each side, just until the skin starts to turn a deep golden brown color.
- Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. This will make cleanup a lot easier.
- Place a cooling rack on top of the aluminum foil. Using a cooling rack will ensure that your chicken leg quarters don't sit in grease as they cook.
- After searing your chicken leg quarters, move the chicken quarters to the prepared baking pan.
- Pour the leftover cooking oil onto the chicken leg quarters.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, just until the skin is golden brown in color and extra crispy. Remember that ovens bake differently, so be sure to know your oven well.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that your chicken leg quarters are fully cooked. The meat thermometer should read at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (internal temperature). However, cooking chicken legs longer will result in a tastier chicken dinner. For this reason, keep cooking the chicken leg quarters until they reach an internal temperature of between 185 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken leg quarters from the oven. Serve after allowing the chicken leg quarters to rest for three minutes.
If you’re just getting started learning how to cook chicken leg quarters recipes, it may be fun to try out some more chicken quarters recipes. Below, you can watch the video to learn how to make chicken leg quarters with super crispy skin.