Cooking chicken legs in the oven is simple, easy and perfect for a weeknight meal! Plus, the crispy skin is just amazing.
I was in the local supermarket and chicken leg quarters were on sale. This is generally one of the most economical meats at regular price, but at a discount, this cut of meat is a cheap way to feed a family. Very versatile, these can be prepared many different ways, but my favourite is baking chicken leg quarters in the oven.
Everyone in our family absolutely loves roast chicken. This recipe cooks leg quarters with a method and seasoning that tastes just like roasted chicken. Coated in an herb and garlic Italian style seasoning, the skin is light and crispy yet the meat is juicy and will fall off the bone delicious.
This recipe uses just a simple herb and garlic rub for the seasoning, but there are many different ways to spice and season the meat. Marinades, glazes and bbq sauces are great for chicken legs, and here are some excellent recipes.
Marinades and Sauces:
Getting the chicken ready
There is not much needed to prepare chicken leg quarters for the oven. While chicken legs can be split into both the drumstick and thigh, they are also great cooked and served whole. Sometimes there is some excess skin and fat that wraps around the underside of the thigh. Trim that extra skin away.
I like to use a very simple seasoning that is mostly made up of salt, pepper and some dried herbs. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken, including the underside as well.
Once the chicken has been seasoned, place them on a baking sheet. I like to use a rack as it allows the heat to circulate all around the meat. Raising the chicken up a little prevents it from cooking in its own grease and juices. If desired, you could also place a sheet of parchment paper between the rack and the baking sheet. this allows for super easy cleanup afterwards.
What Temperature and How Long to Cook
Bake in a 375F oven for 75 minutes. I have tried different temperatures, both higher and lower and I find that 375F is ideal for getting meat that is fall off the bone tender as well as a skin that is rendered and crispy.
I use my digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. Stick the probe in the fattest part of the chicken. I like to cook until the temperature is around 185F. At this point the meat will fall off the bone and has so much flavour.
Other similar recipes
Cooking chicken legs and thighs is very easy since they don’t dry out like breast meat. There are many different ways to cook and prepare this dark meat part of a chicken. Here are a number of other great recipes.
Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
- 6 chicken leg quarters
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Trim the chicken legs of any excess fat.
- Mix spices together in a small bowl. Generously rub the seasoning all over the chicken leg quarters.
- Place the chicken on a baking sheet with a rack.
- Bake for 75 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.