The Best Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

5 from 58 votes

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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
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Why You’ll Love this Recipe

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.

Ingredients

  • Chicken leg quarters: I love this cut of chicken. It’s inexpensive and so full of flavor.
  • Butter: this adds some fat, flavor, and something for the seasoning to stick too. Plus it helps the chicken crisp up.
  • Seasonings of your choice: I like to use a custom season salt made 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

How to Make Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

  1. Pat your chicken dry.
  2. Brush it with butter and then sprinkle with your seasoning.
  3. Cover with foil and bake a low temperature.
  4. After a longer cooking time remove the foil and crank up the heat to finish the cooking process.
  5. Serve right away.
pan with raw chicken in it before being cooked

Baking Tips for Chicken Leg Quarters

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.

Seasoning Tips

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.

pan with 4 cooked chicken leg quarters in it

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?

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.

Round out this meal with:

Other baked chicken recipes you’ll love:

If you’ve tried this chicken leg quarters recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.

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.

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

You’ll love how great this simple baked chicken leg quarters recipe is! It’s easy to make, you’ll love how flavorful the chicken is, and it’s one you’ll make over and over again!

5 from 58 votes

The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

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.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

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

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Place the chicken leg quarters in the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet or a baking dish.
  • Melt the butter and brush it over each chicken leg quarter.
  • Sprinkle generously with seasoning of choice.
  • 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 to your liking and the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 278kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.2g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 114mg, Sodium: 134mg, Potassium: 200mg, Sugar: 0.01g, Vitamin A: 308IU, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 1mg
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161 Comments

  1. Rich M. says:

    5 stars
    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.

  2. Olivia Loveridge says:

    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 says:

      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!

    2. Emma says:

      5 stars
      Turned out great !! Thanks!

    3. Melissa says:

      Woohoo! So glad that you liked them!

  3. Denise says:

    5 stars
    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!

  4. Angel says:

    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?

  5. Hollie says:

    5 stars
    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 says:

      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!

  6. Heather Harris says:

    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. Melissa says:

      That sounds soooo good! I’ll have to pick it up next time I’m near a TJ’s!

    2. Mary says:

      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!

    3. Melissa says:

      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.

    4. Candice J Grubbs says:

      5 stars
      Hey i got 7 1/2 lbs of leg quarters. 7 leg quarters total. So 2 pans at once side by side. Do i need to increase cooking time? Not really familiar with cooking leg quarters.

    5. Melissa says:

      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!

    6. Holly says:

      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!

    7. Melissa says:

      Hope it cooked up perfect for you Holly!

  7. Melissa says:

    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…

  8. Christina says:

    I cooked my chicken on 300 for a hour and my chicken was still uncooked, 300 is too low.

    1. Melissa says:

      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 says:

      5 stars
      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

    3. Melissa says:

      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!

  9. Brett says:

    5 stars
    It clearly says in step 6 to increase to 425°, as I just did. Im making soup! Cannot wait:)

  10. Actionjackson says:

    5 stars
    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