The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

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

What is the best way to season chicken legs?

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.

What is the best way to bake chicken legs?

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.

What to do with the juice at the bottom of the pan when baking chicken legs:

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.

How long to bake chicken legs:

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.

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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
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 6 SERVING SIZE: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339.9 Fat: 17.2g Cholesterol: 226.6mg Sodium: 218.6mg Carbohydrates: 0g Sugars: 0g Protein: 43.5g Vitamin A: 87.4µg Vitamin C: 0mg

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

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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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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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Would this work for chicken breasts too?

I made exactly as directed except I dipped my chicken in melted butter and used the seasoning recipe in the notes and seasoned both sides. It was so good!!!! Hubby wanted bbq so after I browned the chicken (I used the broiler to get the desired browness I wanted. When it said to take the foil off turn to 425 I did it for 30 minutes and still wasn’t brown enough for me) I put bbq only on his pieces. I loved it!!!

It turned out really juicy! Will change up our seasoning next time (used salt, pepper, garlic, adobo, and paprika) and added bbq sauce in the last 20 minutes when I upped the temperature. It was yummy just need to experiment with my seasonings. My first time cooking left quarters.

Had some good success with this one. For seasoning, I skip the butter and mix olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, and paprika, and spoon it/smear it on the chicken before baking. Baked at 310 degrees for the first hour (my oven runs cool) and then upped it to 425 for 20 minutes. Delicious – I will use this method again.

Do I need to up the cooking time if I put potato and carrots under chicken to roast?

I did what the instructions said and after 1 hour the chicken was no where near cooked at all. I had to put it back in the oven, uncovered, on 380 degrees for nearly fourth minutes to cook the chicken.

After 1 hour you need to up the temp to 425 for 10-20 minutes….

Total weight of my four leg quarters was 4.5 Lbs, so unsurprisingly I had to cook longer. I did the 1 hr at 300 then a total 40 mins at 425. Delicious! Fabulous crispy skin,. What time and temp do you recommend for reheating?

Followed the instructions precisely and ended up with bloody chicken in the middle.

Made this tonight bc we had thawed thicken legs but I’d never cooked them before (only thing available in quarantine) and they turned out EPICALLY AWESOME! I added a chopped up bite size pieces of carrot, onion, and mini red potato and turned on the broiler at the end to really get everything browned nicely. The sauces from the chicken and veggies was beyond amazing-I ended up saving for a Greek chicken soup I’ll be making tomorrow.

I usually do not like baked chicken because it is too dry. This however, was moist, juicy and flavorful. I put some of the juice on top of our cooked vegetable and they were better than usual. My whole family thought this was a winner!

I’ve used this recipe a gazillion times now and keep forgetting to leave a comment. This is BY FAR the best preparation for chicken quarters I have found. We’re Americans living in Spain and I spent a good long time trying to sort the method for cooking a quartered chicken the way our favorite restaurant does. This is the winner. The chicken is super juicy and the skin is perfect. I cook the chicken over a bed of rough cut French fry shaped potatoes. Salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Simple, easy, and delicious. Thank you so much!

Thank you! Delicious recipe. I usually never buy leg quarters but it is the midst of the COVID 19 hysteria and leg quarters was absolutely the only chicken I could find at two groceries stores. I just had no idea how to cook them. This recipe was simple and came out great. For spices I used a prepackaged poultry rub.

This is why I have leg quarters, too – because it was all I could find. Can’t wait to try this

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.