Baked Chicken Leg Quarters are a fantastic, affordable cut of meat that is so easy to make. Baking keeps the chicken juicy on the inside with mouthwatering crispy skin, and you’ve got the convenience of one pan clean up. Serve your baked leg quarters whole or shred the meat for quick meal prep!
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Leg quarters are one of THE MOST affordable cuts of meat that you can buy. And since they are dark meat, they stay really juicy and flavorful. Baking the chicken on a baking rack also allows the skin to get nice and crispy.
Chicken Leg Quarters: You can use fresh or thawed frozen leg quarters. I find that the 10 pound bags of frozen leg quarters are the cheapest option working out to about $.50 per pound in my area! You can also adjust this recipe to bake as much or as little chicken as you like.
Butter (or Oil): Use whatever fat you have on hand. Use any kind of softened butter or neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable oil if you prefer or require dairy-free.
Spices: For this recipe, you’ll need the following spices:
- dried minced garlic (or garlic powder)
- dried minced onion (or onion powder)
- ground chili powder
- ground cayenne (optional)
For salt, I recommend using kosher salt. If you only have table salt, cut the measurement to 1 1/2 teaspoons.
Tip: You can absolutely use bone-in chicken thighs, drumsticks or even breasts. Just make sure to use a meat thermometer to make sure that you cook dark meat (thighs and drumsticks) to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and white meat (breasts) to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. To accurately take the temperature, make sure that the thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat and only to the middle. Take care to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bone.
How to Serve Baked Leg Quarters
Chicken leg quarters can be served whole or separate the thigh and drumstick for smaller portions. To cut, turn the leg quarter over and cut along the white line that separates the thigh from the drumstick. This is the joint and will cut cleanly.
Serve with your favorite side. I love this roasted Honeynut Squash recipe because it can bake right along side the chicken.
Another option is to cut all the chicken off the bones and dice or shred the chicken for use in other dishes. The cooked meat is perfect for soups like Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Pot Pie or this super tasty Curry Chicken Salad with Raisins.
I like to bake the leg quarters in large batches and freeze the chicken for quick meal prep. You can wrap the whole chicken in a double layer of plastic wrap or remove the chicken from the bone. Store either in a freezer bag, with as much air removed as possible, for up to three months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chicken leg quarters are the bone-in section of the bird consisting of the thigh and drumstick.
The easiest and most accurate way to make sure your chicken is fully cooked is to use a digital thermometer (and cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit). This instant-read thermometer from ThermoWorks is my absolute favorite for its accuracy and quick reading. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut into the chicken and make sure there is no pink.
It takes 40-45 minutes for chicken quarters to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit at oven temperature 400 degrees. This cooking temperature is ideal because it crisps the skin and keeps the meat juicy.
More Sheet Pan Dinner Recipes
- Baked Turkey Wings
- Sheet Pan Maple-Mustard Chicken with Roasted Winter Squash
- Baked Meatballs
- Stuffing Meatloaf
- Easy Sheet Pan Dinner Recipes
Baked Chicken Leg Quarters Recipe
- 4 chicken leg quarters (about 4 pounds)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter or Vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried minced Garlic (or garlic powder)
- 2 teaspoons dried minced Onion (or onion powder)
- 1 teaspoon Chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with an oven-safe baking rack.
- Place the chicken on the baking rack and rub with butter (or brush with oil).
- Mix together salt, pepper, garlic, onion, chili powder and cayenne in a bowl until well combined.
- Rub spice mixture all over chicken.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit or the juices run clear.
You can use drumsticks, thighs or bone-in chicken breasts for this recipe. Check the temperature of the meat at 25 minutes. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once cooked, you can serve whole or cut along the joint to separate the drumstick from the thigh. You can also remove the meat from the bone, shred and use in other dishes that call for shredded or chopped chicken.
To freeze shredded chicken, remove the meat from the bones and cut or shred into bite-size pieces. Place in a freezer bag and seal removing as much air as possible. This will store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 229mgSodium: 917mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 42g