The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

5 from 29 reviews

These are the best oven baked chicken leg quarters — tender, crispy, and juicy on the inside, you simply brush with butter and simple seasonings before cooking them in the oven at a low temperature for an hour, with a final spike in the temp to crisp the skin up real nice at the end.

The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

I love a budget-friendly and patience-friendly meal, and these oven baked chicken quarters cover all those bases and more. Chicken legs are fairly simple and inexpensive, but when you butter them up, season them well, and bake them low and slow in the oven, they become tender and juicy and perfect dinnertime contenders. I turn up the oven’s heat at the very end to get the skin nice and crispy, and it’s seriously delicious.

Plus, it takes about zero time for you to prep it all. Getting the chicken ready might cost you 5 minutes, and then you put them in the oven for an hour, freeing you up to get sides ready (or just chill for a bit!) while they bake. Chicken legs are no fuss as long as you know how to do them, and if you ask me, this recipe is the perfect place to start.

The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

Tips and Tricks for Making The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

  • When it comes to seasoning, you can go as simple as salt and pepper, you can use your favorite seasoning blend (like Everything but the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s, Montreal Chicken Seasoning, Lemon Garlic, or anything else), or you can make your own magic season salt by combining 1/4 cup kosher salt, 4 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional. I just toss everything in a little mason jar, add the lid, and shake to combine. This is a great basic season salt recipe. It’s great on french fries and all kinds of meat.
  • Slow and low is why I love this recipe. By starting out at a low temperature, you give the meat time to cook and become tender. Finishing it off at a higher temperature makes the skin delicious and crispy. It might take a little while in the oven but you only have 5 minutes of hands-on time.
  • The juice that is at the bottom of the pan is super good, just FYI. If you are serving some kind of vegetable with this dish, I’d spoon some of the chicken drippings over the top or even make gravy for potatoes with them.
  • You can make this recipe with a different cut of meat, but it will affect the cook time. You’ll want to stick with a bone-in, skin-on cut, because they really help this to be a moist and flavorful dish. Use a thermometer to check your cut of meat if using something other than chicken leg quarters.

The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

Should I remove chicken skin before cooking?

No! Please don’t. Chicken skin adds so much flavor (as do the bones) and gives the outside such an incredible crispy texture. It’s higher in fat, so this wouldn’t be a meal you eat every day, but it certainly won’t do any harm every once in a while! You’ve got to live a little, right?

Are chicken legs healthy?

Chicken, no matter the cut, is a great source of lean protein (yes, even the dark meat!). I know chicken breast is all the rage because it’s a bit lower in fat and calories, but I’m on a mission to spread the gospel of chicken legs and all their flavor-filled, easy-to-make glory.

How long will baked chicken legs keep for?

You can store these in your fridge in a sealable bag or airtight container (whichever you choose, line the bottom with a paper towel to catch excess liquid and keep the legs from getting soggy) for up to 3 or 4 days. I recommend reheating them in the oven so the skin has a chance to re-crisp.

Print

The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 1x

Description

The Best Baked Chicken Leg Quarters made by simply roasting chicken leg quarters brushed with butter and seasoned at a low temperature for an hour and then raising the temperature at the end to crisp the skin.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken leg quarters (about 3 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Seasoning to taste, see notes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place the chicken leg quarters in the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet or a baking dish.
  3. Melt the butter and brush it over each chicken leg quarter.
  4. Sprinkle generously with seasoning of choice.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and bake for one hour.
  6. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until the skin is crisped to your liking and the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
  7. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • When it comes to seasoning, you can go as simple as salt and pepper, you can use your favorite seasoning blend (like Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s, Montreal Chicken Seasoning, Lemon Garlic, or anything else), or you can make your own magic season salt by combining 1/4 cup kosher salt, 4 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional. I just toss everything in a little mason jar, add the lid, and shake to combine. This is a great basic season salt recipe. It’s great on french fries and all kinds of meat.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chicken legs, chicken leg quarters recipe, how to bake chicken legs, chicken drumsticks recipe, easy chicken dinner

Round out this meal with:

Other baked chicken recipes you’ll love:

You must try making these fabulous chicken leg quarters recipe sometime soon because they’re crispy, juicy, and perfectly seasoned!

This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated and rephotographed in June 2019.

The Best Baked Chicken Leg Quarters made by simply roasting chicken leg quarters brushed with butter and seasoned at a low temperature for an hour and then raising the temperature at the end to crisp the skin.
The Best Baked Chicken Leg Quarters made by simply roasting chicken leg quarters brushed with butter and seasoned at a low temperature for an hour and then raising the temperature at the end to crisp the skin.

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38 Recipes for Busy Moms
106 Responses
  1. Michelle

    Love this recipe I use it every single time I make chicken quarters. Seasoning salt garlic and onion powders and Italian seasoning and its always delicious. Please let me know how you would do this to a whole chicken (3 or so pounds) thanks a lot.

    1. Melissa

      I’m so glad you like it! You can do the same thing with a whole chicken, just cook it longer! I bet it’ll take 1 hour on 300 and another 30 minutes on the higher temperature to cook through, I’m not positive though so just play around with the cooking times and use a thermometer to make sure the chicken get cooked all the way through.

  2. Tonight is the second time making this recipe. What I did was, separate the skin from the chicken, squirted fresh lemon in there along with spices…spread butter on top and sprinkled the rest of the spices. Other than that, I followed your directions exactly and the chicken was juicy and a crispy skin…DELICIOUS!!!

  3. Katydoes

    OMG Melissa, I would give up writing a blog after these comments! I think the problem is that people don’t know how to SCROLL DOWN!!!!! You’re directions were right on!! It has been quite entertaining as I await REMOVING THE FOIL AND UPPING THE TEMP TO 425!!!! …

    1. Melissa

      Bahaha, thank you girl. I think I need to write them in bold? I’m not sure what it is about this recipe but it totally has great comments right?! Hope you loved it!

    1. Melissa

      Do you have a dish with an oven proof lid, like a dutch oven or a skillet with a lid? Covering it will keep it from drying out, but you don’t have to only use foil for that step. Does that help?

  4. Laura

    This is my go to recipe. So delicious and simple if you follow Melissa’s directions!

    I’m throwing an 91st bday lunch for 12 tomorrow and making these bc they are so hands off. Going to also try andadd some onion garlic lemon mushrooms and cRROts To the bottom of the dish so thT they can make a nice sauce to the chicken and mashed potatoes.

    This is my boyfriends favorite chicken! Thanks Melissa 🙂

  5. CelticHargis

    This recipe turned out beautifully and was so tasty!!! My fiance loved it so much he wants me to make it again this week! I’m in love with the crispy skin and how juicy and tender it was. Thank you!

  6. Danielle Ferrara

    OMG!!! I bake chicken quarters at least every 2 weeks. Always a struggle getting them to proper temp and never the same.. I’M SO HAPPY I FOUND YOUR RECIPE!!! Thank you Melissa!!! Can’t believe I never thought of baking them covered to start. I actually got nervous because when I cranked the oven up to 425 I also flipped on the convection…. checked after 10 minutes and my temp was 500!!! Pulled them out and my meat thermometer read 198 degrees. I thought they were ruined, but no! Super moist, super juicy, and DELICIOUS! Only thing I do differently for chicken is add curry to my spice blend.- equal parts kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic powder,, and Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning. ( Tony’s is a staple in every New Orleans household). Thank you again!!! This will now be on my weekly rotation.

    1. Melissa

      Ooohhh that spice blend sounds so good! Thank you for sharing and taking the time to come back and leave a comment, so helpful!

  7. Allie

    This turns out perfect every time!
    This time I partially cooked a red, a yellow and an orange bell pepper with a red onion and some celery in a skillet on the stove top then added it under the chicken for the second round of cooking when the temp was turned up for about 20min. It came out amazing! We will definitely be continuing to use these directions for chicken quarters!

    I can’t believe how many people can’t read/follow a fairly simple recipe! All the comments I saw complaining about something or another because they did not follow the whole recipe exactly as it was given.

    1. Melissa

      Oohhhh that addition of veggies at the end is a GREAT idea! Mind if I steal it and make another recipe around it? Did you serve it with anything in particular? Thanks for leaving a comment too, always helpful!

      1. Allie

        Go ahead and go for it, I believe recipes should be created to share! The peppers and celery add incredible flavor. They could be added in the beginning for those that like them thoroughly cooked. We like them “al dente” so I did thick sliced and towards the end. I also threw together a southwest style chopped salad kit with roasted corn, mexiblend cheese and a cilantro lime ranch, its one of those bagged kits you can buy in the salad section of the store. We love those as they come with the right amount of everything and so many different flavor styles to choose from. Other than that nothing really in particular. Its so flexible it could be taken so many directions. All three of my kids loved it they are 8-15 in age. There are really just so many possibilities with this chicken and I love that just because my daughter is 15 and is obsessed with chicken to say the least. She could live off of chicken and turkey so I make a lot of it and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it.

  8. Ok, it came out GREAT! I mistakenly took the foil off while waiting for the oven to heat up to 425 (from 300), then started the timer for 20 min. Let it rest for 10 min. and the chicken was cook perfectly and the skin was crispy and the two of us ate all 4 large legs!!!

    P.S. I had some left over bacon grease and put a few dots of that on just one chicken to test out how it tasted. It was pretty good. I recently read that using bacon grease instead of butter or oil is a good option for a deeper smokey flavor. Thanks for the easy recipe!

    Linda

    1. Melissa

      Ohh that sounds so good! I use bacon grease to cook onions and things in for pasta and soups too, you are right, it adds a ton of flavor! I’m going to try it on the chicken, I haven’t thought of that before!

  9. Ahhh…I think I might have answered my own question!

    Your instructions says:

    Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until the skin is crisped to your liking and the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read.

    So I probably should have kept the foil on the chicken until the temp reached 425, then take off the foil and start the timer. Right?

    Well, I hope it comes out ok, I’ll let you know. 🙂

    1. Melissa

      You got it figured out, it’ll work fine preheating with foil or without, you just might end up with a crispier skin if you take the foil off first but it won’t effect anything else! Hope you loved it!

  10. Ok, I making this right now.

    Quick question: When you take to cover off and turn the heat up to 425 for the last 10-20 minutes — do you start the 10-20 minute timer once it hit 425? Or is the oven heating up to 425 from 300 part of the 10-20 minute process? Does that make sense?

    1. Melissa

      I bet it would be close to this long. I think I’d just check it a few times to make sure you aren’t over cooking it!

  11. Timothy

    Melissa! This recipe is perfect! Best chicken quarters I’ve ever made.
    Thank you!!!
    Temps and times seem just right to me.

  12. CB

    I’ve cooked plenty of chicken legs, but never a thigh combo, so I went online in search of cooking times and found this. After reading the interesting commentary I ran with the original instructions. Knowing my oven is old and finicky I started at 325 rather than 300 for good measure, then upped it as directed. I don’t think I needed the 325 as the temp was at 185 when I checked the chicken and I was worried it would be dry. But after sitting 10 minutes, we found it was still plenty moist and juicy (whew). From here on out I am following these guidelines. Thank you for making my first leg-thigh combo a success!

  13. RJ White

    My final high temp time of 18 mins (2nd try) was amazing. Great addition for my collection of Keto recipes. Thank you!

  14. Jisel

    Hi, I need help! I’m cooking a 10lb of chicken leg quarters all at once tonight and i plan to use your recipe. Just wondering if I need to change the temp and or cooking time? Thank you! I hope you could respond asap!

    1. Melissa

      Nope, just cook it in more than one pan so they aren’t crowded and rotate the pans during cooking a few times. I think you’ll love them! ENJOY!

  15. Liz

    Best EVER!!! Cooked one quarter with Trader Joe’s SEASON salt and cayenne. 4 T butter. Poured the leftover juice on top. Delicious. Thank you!!!

  16. Liz

    This is seriously the best chicken I’ve ever had. I am on KETO CARNIVORE DIET For the next 3 weeks. I cooked this with Trader Joe’s season salt and some Cayenne pepper and it was perfect! I’m having this again tomorrow I ate every bite and I usually leave some behind because I get so full.

  17. Abbey

    Searched the internet for the perfect chicken quarter recipe and this is the one that sounded the best. I tried it out, did exactly what the directions said, and wow! Super crispy on the outside, and the chicken fell off the bone. New favorite recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!

  18. This is a simple and great tasting recipe. I did exactly as written and basting with butter using creole seasoning. Awesome…………………thank you. I just got 21.5 pounds of chicken leg quarters at Harris Teeters for 28 cents per pound….and no, I did not cook them all at once.

    john

  19. Mary Roering

    Baked it just as follows and used salt, pepper, garlic powder and Montreal seasonings. Came out perfect, juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. I will have to make this again really soon <3

  20. Rich M.

    Wow, made this last night. So easy and the chicken came out moist and delicious . I cooked at 325 degrees for first hour and then uncovered at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Popped on the broiler for the last 5 minutes to get a really nice crisp to the skin. I like my dark meat to be at 180 degrees when It finishes cooking and bone-in dark meat can handle that higher internal temp.

  21. Olivia Loveridge

    I’m wondering how the seasoning gets to the meat? I absolutely LOVE leg quarters, but it seems like the meat turns out bland every time. Do you put any seasoning under the skin? Butter?

    1. Melissa

      My family tends to eat the skin with the meat, so I don’t feel like that’s a big issue. BUT feel free to season up that meat directly under the skin, you can’t go wrong there!

  22. Denise

    This recipe turned out so awesome!! I used McCormick Perfect Pinch Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning under the skin, basted everything with the butter you suggested and sprinkled seasoning all over the skin. I have a convection oven roast setting on my oven. I set it at 300 and cooked the chicken for an hour covered and uncovered it for an additional 15 minutes at 400 (convection ovens should be set 25 degrees lower than conventional). Turned out so juicy and flavorful with a slightly crispy skin. It could of maybe have been left in for a few more minutes but it was delicious anyway! Thank you for sharing this recipe …it’s a keeper!

  23. Angel

    If I wanted to use boneless, skinless chicken breast with this recipe, because of a dietary issue, is there a huge change I need to make? I know the cooking times and meat temperatures need to be adjusted, but does anything else?

  24. Hollie

    This is a great recipe! I found three 10lb bags of Chicken Leg Quarters at Wal—Mart for $3 each. I grabbed them all and looked up how best to cook them. Every leg quarter I have cooked so far came out BEAUTIFULLY! Extremely tasty, juicy, crispy skin and the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone. Thank-you so much! 🙂

    Just a note: make sure to follow the 425 degrees for 20 minutes. It’s what makes the chicken AMAZING after the first hour at 300 degrees. (:

    1. Melissa

      You SCORED on that price per bag! I’d snatch them all up too! I’m so glad that you like them as much as we do and thank you for coming back to leave a review!

  25. Heather Harris

    Thanks for such a straightforward recipe!! I always forget my cooking times for certain cuts of meat. I’ve never tried TJ’s bagel seasoning, but their Chili Lime seasoning?? ? I LOVE it on chicken, shrimp and trout. And it’s only $2 a jar. Planning on making this tonight with some Paleo-style tomato soup and rolls.

      1. Mary

        I made this and it was excellent and so easy! Tonight I have just thighs. I saw that the cooking time needs to be adjusted; any advice on that? Thanks!

        1. Melissa

          It should be close to the same. I’d just check the temperate 5 or 10 minutes earlier than normal so that you aren’t over cooking them, but it won’t be a huge amount of time difference.

        1. Melissa

          Yep, I’d do two pans next to each other. You might need to add maybe 10 minutes to the first cooking time and 5 to the second (when the temp is higher) but if you have a decent oven you shouldn’t need to add much more than 10 or so minutes for cooking more meat. You’re going to love them!

    1. I’m cooking this now so I can’t say how ot works yet but I can say this after reading these post I’m shocked at all the people getting upset over time’s and temps cooking 101 (even frozen dinners say this) cooking temperatures and time may Very since all ovens and microwave are not the same!

    1. Melissa

      No no no, you just season to taste, the notes that include a 1/4 cup salt is for an all-purpose season salt which you could use on the chicken, it’ll work for lots of things or many batches of chicken. The recipe does not call for 1/4 cup of salt…

  26. For anyone who is complaining about raw chicken when they were done clearly doesn’t know how to use a meat thermometer. Ovens vary so it might take more time or even less. 165 is what you need to shoot for with chicken to be safe to eat no matter the recipe

    1. Melissa

      You are supposed to up the temperature at the end, it’s indicated in the recipe. It should take another 15 to 20 minutes after the hour at the higher temperature to cook it through…

  27. I just discovered chicken leg quarters. The recipe I used was equally simple: Just slice up an onion or two – salt and pepper – put in a roasting pan – put chicken leg quarters on top – I sprinkled garlic salt and garlic pepper on top – bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

    1. Melissa

      I’ll try it next time! I normally place onions sliced in the bottom of my slow cooker when I cook whole chicken of a pork roast, that’s a great idea for the oven too! Do you make any gravy with the drippings? I bet it would be excellent.

  28. Jim Fernandez

    Recipe sounds good but the method is backwards. If you blast the meat @450 first your slow cook time will greatly benefit from the flavors generated by the Maillard reaction and you’ll have tastier chicken. I’d cook 15/20 high and 60 low.

        1. Joe petrie

          Just did this recipe and followed the times exactly and they came out perfect. I guess it goes to show a lil paying attention goes a long ways. Thank you very much for this recipe.

          1. Melissa

            Thank you for coming back to say that you had success! I really appreciate that. I love this recipe too and never have trouble with it.

    1. Kionna

      The recipe CLEARLY states to increase the the temp of the oven to 425 degrees! Can’t none of you all read?????? I know Melissa is ticked off!

      1. Mandi

        Omg THANK You for saying something! I feel so bad for the author. I just looked this up for the first time and am going to make it tonight and I just couldnt get over how many ppl didnt even read the freaking recipe!! C’mon people!!! All the info ya need is RIGHT THERE😂😂

      2. Elizabeth

        @Kionna: Seriously, yeah, I don’t think I have ever in my life read food blog comments like the ones here for this recipe. Who are these people? And how do they manage cooking at all if they don’t read the entire recipe or are unable to understand plain and clear English? Kind of funny, but not.

  29. Wade

    Thank you. My leg quarters are currently defrosting in the refrigerator, and I intend to prepare them this evening using your technique. Enjoy your weekend.

      1. Love the recipe and so did my family. I’m cooking it a second time this evening. I think it’s so funny how many people did not read the recipe and cooked the chicken at 300 degrees the whole time. Smh……it clearly says turn thr oven up to 425 for the last portion of time!

  30. Paul

    300 for an hour and then uncovered for 15 and let sit for ten… left me with partially cooked chicken.
    I thought 300 was too low and yup.

        1. Melissa

          The degrees are Fahrenheit and it’s totally possible that my nutrition information is off, so do some of your own research and most of the time when it comes to chicken, if you don’t consume that skin that helps a lot. Hope that’s helpful!

      1. Melissa

        You’re supposed to increase the temperature and cook it much hotter for the last 15-20 minutes. This is essential for having chicken cooked through at the end. The cooking times and temperatures are indicated in the recipe.

      2. Fae Cloud

        It’s the last 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees that finishes cooking the chicken. Mine turned out perfect with a crispy skin. Wish I knew how to post a photo here

        1. Melissa

          Fae- thanks for the feedback and I’m so glad that you had success making this recipe. I wish you could post a photo too! I’ll see if I can figure out how!

      1. Elizabeth

        @Patty: What do you mean by “30 minutes was not enough for such a low temp”? Nowhere in the recipe does it say anything about ’30 minutes’. The recipe says clearly to cook, covered, for ONE HOUR at 300*F. Then turn the oven up to 425*F, uncover, and cook another 15-20 minutes. Are we looking at the same recipe?

    1. Melissa

      You cover it for the first part of baking and then when you up the oven temperature, you uncover it to crisp up the skin!

      1. John

        I done the seasoning a lil different, but cooked it like you said. It came out so perfectly done! Best chicken I’ve ever had. Thank you.

    2. Rain

      Cover the pan with foil and bake for one hour.
      Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until the skin is crisped

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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