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.
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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 them on a baking rack also allows the skin to get nice and crispy.
What are Leg Quarters?
Chicken Leg Quarters are the bone-in section of chicken consisting of the thigh and drumstick.
Chicken Leg Quarter: Feel free to 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!
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.
Butter (or Oil): Use whatever you have on hand. Use any kind of softened butter or neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable oil.
Spices: For this recipe, you'll need salt, pepper, dried minced garlic or garlic powder, dried minced onion or onion powder, ground chili powder and cayenne (optional). For salt, I recommend using kosher salt. If you only have table salt, cut the measurement to 1 1/2 teaspoons.
If you have any interest in making your own garlic and onion powder, Darcy of The Purposeful Pantry a recipe and super helpful tips.
How to Serve
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.
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 even Chicken Enchiladas.
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.
More Chicken Recipes
- Easy Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
- Sheet Pan Maple-Mustard Chicken with Roasted Winter Squash
- Ground Chicken Salisbury Steak
Baked Chicken Leg Quarters Recipe
- 4-6 Chicken leg quarters (about 5 lbs)
- 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 30-35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees Fahrenheit or the juices run clear.
You can use drumsticks, thighs or bone-in chicken breasts for this recipe. Check the internal temperature of the meat at 25 minutes. Cook to 175 degrees Fahrenheit for drumsticks and thighs or 165 degrees for breasts.
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: Allow the chicken to cool completely. Double wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. To freeze shredded chicken, place in a freezer bag and seal removing as much air as possible.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 253mgSodium: 751mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 47g