How Long to Bake Chicken Leg Quarters

5 from 5 votes

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The key to figuring out how long to bake chicken leg quarters, thighs, or legs is all about getting the temperature and timing just right!

Ever wonder how long to bake chicken leg quarters, thighs, or legs? This post will tell you just that plus the difference in various cuts, and how to best cook them.
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How Long to Bake Chicken Leg Quarters

It’s no secret that I love chicken legs, and I’ve found that many of you do, too! One of the by-far-best and most popular recipes on my blog is this one for The Best Baked Chicken Legs — it’s even been shared more than 250K times! Along with being a reader favorite, it’s also one of my family’s. It’s safe to say that chicken legs, and other dark meat cuts like chicken thighs and chicken leg quarters, are a staple in my home.

But have you ever wondered WHY it’s so good? What’s different between dark meat and white meat? How long to bake chicken leg quarters to have the best-tasting meat? Or maybe you’re wondering what the heck a chicken leg quarter is? I’m here to help you, and maybe even convert you to the dark side — of chicken meat, that is!

Q: What’s the difference among the various cuts of chicken?

A: A chicken leg technically includes both the thigh and the drumstick (the lower portion of the leg, often referred to as just a chicken leg). Of course you can get both of those separately as well. So what is a chicken leg quarter? It’s the full leg (thigh and drumette) plus a portion of the back.

Q: Why choose chicken legs, chicken thighs, or chicken leg quarters?

A: Reason 1: It’s cheaper than white meat – this is a huge bonus for families looking to save money. I can usually buy dark meat for up to half the price of white meat – that’s money that can go to more exciting food purchases like fancy dark chocolate. ☺
Reason 2: It’s extremely moist – because it often cooks on the bone, in the skin, and with the fat, it comes out very moist and flavorful. If you’re not careful, white meat can quickly become overcooked and too dry, but dark meat is almost impossible to dry out!
Reason 3: It’s versatile – almost any chicken dish can be made with dark meat cuts.
Reason 4: It’s delicious! In my opinion, dark meat is more flavorful than white meat and pairs so wonderfully with so many flavors.

Q: How long do you bake chicken leg quarters, chicken thighs, and chicken legs?

A: Of course it depends on the temperature of your oven, but I usually bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes. The ultimate goal is for the internal temperature to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of the meat. If you don’t already have a meat thermometer, get one. Right now. It’s SO helpful to make sure you don’t overcook your meat, while still making sure it’s safe.

The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters

What are your favorite chicken leg quarters recipes? Here’s mine:

The Best Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
5 from 5 votes

How Long to Bake Chicken Leg Quarters

Ever wonder how long to bake chicken leg quarters, thighs, or legs? It takes at least an hour but the key is all about the temperature and the timing.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 4 leg quarters

Ingredients 

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

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • 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).
  • 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: 1 of 4 chicken leg quarters, Calories: 436kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 172mg, Sodium: 203mg, Potassium: 393mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 588IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 133mg, Iron: 4mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

If you can’t tell, I’m in love with dark meat chicken cuts and I hope I’ve convinced you to try them out if you aren’t yet converted – your wallet and your taste buds will thank me!

Recipes you’ll love to go with your chicken leg quarters:

Other baked chicken recipes for your table:

Ever wonder how long to bake chicken leg quarters? It takes at least an hour but the key is all about the temperature and the timing. Plus, there’s butter involved!

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17 Comments

  1. Patricia Koons says:

    5 stars
    I used to make lemon pepper chicken all the time before I had kids. My oldest is 4 now and I couldn’t remember how long to bake my chicken for, especially since I usually used drumsticks but had leg quarters this time. Thanks for refreshing my memory and making it such a base recipe that it was easy to know exactly what to do.

  2. J.C.B. says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe, turned out perfect. Quick question, there’s this chicken place I love called barcelos, they don’t sell their hot sauce and I can’t seem to recreate it. It’s a peri peri based sauce but it’s creamy and it has a citrus tang to it and another flavour I can’t quite place. Any ideas?

    Kind regards

    J.C.B.

    1. Melissa says:

      That sauce sounds amazing, I’ll do some reseach!

  3. Rosie says:

    5 stars
    I tried this recepi added a dry rub instead of seasoning and it came out amazing!!! Better than costco chicken. Im so glad i tried it definitly recomend it

    1. Melissa says:

      Ohhh a dry rub sounds perfect! Did you use a certain on? I’d love to try it.

  4. Lonny Watters says:

    Doing a fine job Melissa don’t listen to Bob and just keep doing what you you are doing.

  5. Deborah says:

    Good reply Bob…. thought I was the only one that felt like this. Put recipe first then tell your life story. I would start cooking then read story. But thanks for sharing.

  6. Kristy says:

    5 stars
    Thank you!

  7. angela mancino says:

    Thank you for the recipe!

  8. Bill Friss says:

    Melissa I must say that I fully enjoy the educational part.

  9. Bob says:

    If I click your website for a recipe, all I want is the damn recipe. The rest of this is just frustrating noise.

    1. Xman says:

      5 stars
      Did anyone else catch that Melissa posted a link to the longest recipe possible ??? well anyway great recipe! Thanks for the recipe and the laugh.

    2. Louie says:

      Bless your heart, it’s a FREE blog, Bob… FREE. Don’t want to read? Then there’s a gazzliion other google recipes. Keep writing your heart out, Melissa!

    3. Melissa says:

      I appreciate that Louie!

    4. Michael says:

      Find a different page then . Some of us enjoy the story Bob 😉

  10. Tanya Thomas says:

    I’m impressed by your recipes. I love how you detail everything and break it down so that we can fully understand the directions. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your meal plans.