My baked chicken leg quarters recipe is one of the tastiest chicken recipes you’ll ever make. It’s also one of the easiest! Juicy, tender, and flavorful dark meat with that crispy skin we all love. My chicken quarter recipe is the perfect choice for an easy weeknight dinner your whole family will enjoy!
Often overlooked the Chicken Leg Quarter is one of the most economical cuts of chicken and also one of the most flavorful.
There are no extra steps involved in making my Baked Chicken Leg Quarters recipe. No pan searing and no frying. Just rub the chicken quarters down with the seasoning mixture and place them in the preheated oven. It’s really that easy!
Made with simple pantry ingredients, it’s one of my favorite chicken recipes!
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Baked Chicken Leg Quarters. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
The ingredient list is short:
- Chicken Leg Quarters
- Olive Oil
- Brown Sugar
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Black Pepper
Can I leave out the brown sugar?
You sure can. And actually, the sugar is what causes a good deal of the caramelization of the chicken so that the end product will be lighter in color.
You can also use your favorite blend of seasonings with this recipe. Tailor the seasoning mix to your tastes and your family’s. It can be a different seasoning blend every time you make Chicken Leg Quarters.
Can I use whole chicken with this recipe?
You sure can. You can cut the chicken up in quarters, creating two chicken leg quarters and two chicken breast quarters. You can also just roast the whole chicken using the seasoning paste, but I would reduce the heat to 350 after 25 minutes and continue cooking the whole chicken for an additional 60-90 minutes depending upon the size of the chicken.
You can also use this recipe with chicken breasts, chicken thighs, wings, legs or a mixture of chicken pieces. My baked chicken leg recipe is another favorite.
How to make Seasoning Paste for Baked Chicken
- Add the seasonings to a small bowl
- Combine all of the spices using a fork, making sure to break up as many of the clumps of brown sugar as you can.
- Add the olive oil to the seasoning mix to make a paste.
*The seasoning mix can be made up in larger batches or ahead of time. Just keep it in an airtight container until it is used.
How to make Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
- Rinse the chicken leg quarters in cold water. After rinsing pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Make sure to dry the skin as much as possible.
- Trim off any excess fat or skin from the quarters without breaking the skin. This is usually on the bottom side of the chicken quarters.
- Rub the chicken quarters on both sides with the seasoning paste, making sure to get the entire quarter covered with the seasonings.
- Place the seasoned chicken quarters, skin side up in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the chicken leg quarters at 400°F for 40- 45 minutes (cooking time can vary), or until the internal temperature of the meat is 165°F. Use a meat thermometer (instant-read thermometer) to check the temp!
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow the baked chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
*I like to let the chicken get closer to 180 degrees, the dark meat can take the extra heat and it makes it even more tender while remaining moist and juicy.
Wouldn’t your family love to sit down to these OMG delicious Baked Chicken Leg Quarters? I know they would! Just make sure to make extra, they’re going to be coming back for seconds!
At 400 degrees F. it takes between 35 -40 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. For a more tender chicken leg quarter, I like to cook the quarters for up 45 minutes. Because it’s dark meat the leg quarters can take extra time in the oven, which not only makes it more tender but crisps up the skin nicely.
I prefer cooking chicken without foil. It makes for crisper skin and adds color to the chicken. If the chicken begins getting too dark, it’s okay to cover it with foil at that point to prevent it from getting darker
No, you don’t. In the oven, it’s not necessary to turn the chicken over, during the process.