These Baked Chicken Leg Quarters have a flavorful savory chicken skin, seasoned with a homemade rub, then baked in the oven in under 45 minutes! Chicken recipes this easy will quickly become a family favorite! Roasting leg quarters results in crispy skin and a juicy center. This chicken leg quarters recipe is from a chef who makes these for weddings, they are tinted with a buttery paprika glaze and cook fast!
Living on a farm, chicken dinners are the best way to use up those poultry cuts. I have homemade rotisserie chicken coming up with a homemade marinade that you can use for grilled chicken leg quarters too! Our family loves these chicken leg quarters in the oven as well as these chicken sandwiches, Chicken Fajitas, and Creamy Spinach Chicken Casserole.
What Are Chicken Leg Quarters?
A chicken leg quarter is the portion of a thigh, a drumstick, and a portion of the back. Since we raise chicken broilers as food for our family, we portion out the poultry cuts by wings, leg quarters, and chicken breasts, and the leftover carcass is saved for chicken bone broth. I like to pull out a gallon-sized freezer bag full of leg quarters for this baked leg quarters recipe, however, you can cut up a whole chicken from the grocery store or buy leg quarters in bulk from the meat department. Any mixture of chicken pieces will work.
You will love this chicken recipe! It gets requested by the family and is so flavorful from the peppery seasonings! The secret to the best marinade for this meat recipe is soy sauce, you only use a little and the salty soy sauce tenderizes the meat and makes it savory. The paprika in melted butted helps the chicken brown beautifully and by the time the chicken bakes your house will smell so aromatic and good! The paprika glaze also tints the chicken with an appetizing orangy red hue making it stand out when serving.
Ingredients for Chicken Leg Quarters:
Roasted chicken leg quarters come together easily with these simple ingredients! Here is everything you need to get started and bake them!
- Chicken leg quarters- are basically a thigh, drumstick, and a small portion off of the back from a chicken. This recipe calls for about 4.5 pounds of meat that you can use from any combination of poultry (wings, drumsticks, or cut up a whole chicken from the store.) Bone-in cuts are the best for roasting, their juicer and have bits of dark meat, making a moist combination of cuts.
- Seasonings- I make a dry seasoning mix of salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, paprika, and any poultry seasoning blend (like Montreal chicken seasoning or Shish Kabob seasoning.)
- Soy Sauce- tenderizes the meat and adds umami savory flavor. You will not know there was soy sauce in here it’s just used as the meat marinade.
- Paprika Glaze- is a mixture of melted butter and paprika. After the meat marinades, I brush it warm over the chicken leg quarters for color and browning when baking. This gives it a rotisserie look without the added sugar.
How To Make Chicken Leg Quarters:
Baked chicken leg quarters are best marinated days before baking. If the time allows rub the chicken with the seasonings and toss in the soy sauce 2-3 days before baking. This tenderizes the meat and leaves lots of flavor on the chicken skins but can be marinated for as little as 2 hours. I spray my large USA pan with olive oil and arrange the leg quarters into a single layer. If using frozen leg quarters thaw the meat before seasoning. Wash well with cold water, pat dry, and proceed with the directions.
- Season the chicken leg quarters with all the spices and rub well into the meat. You could add all the seasonings in a small bowl to mix well but I like to sprinkle the spices over the chicken and then mix it well with my hands. Add the soy sauce and mix it all together.
- Marinate the chicken legs for at least 2 hours or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. The longer the meat marinates the better.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and make the paprika glaze. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, whisk in the paprika, and remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Grease a large sheet pan with cooking oil. Brush both sides of the seasoned chicken quarters with the paprika glaze and arrange the chicken leg quarters, skin side up into a single layer. (This USA pan is so easy to clean!)
- Bake the chicken leg quarters for 45 minutes or when inserting an instant-read thermometer it reads 165°F. Larger bone-in cuts take longer to cook and have dark meat, so I like it to reach 180°F to ensure it’s cooked thoroughly.
- Transfer chicken leg quarters to a large platter and garnish with thinly sliced purple onions and fresh dill.
How Long To Bake Chicken Leg Quarters:
Chicken leg quarters generally cook for 40-45 minutes at 400°F. Leg quarters will take extra time in the oven because they are larger and have dark meat. These chicken legs are technically done when the meat thermometer reads 165°F but bigger cuts are more tender if cooked until 180°F since chicken legs are worked muscles the meat can be tougher in these cuts.
For extra crispy skin: place the pan on the top rack of the oven after baking. Then run under the broiler for about a minute. Watch carefully, because it can brown very fast.
Should I Cover Chicken When Baking?
The key to crispy skin is baking the chicken without foil. The dry heat and hot air helps cook the chicken evenly so, there is no need to flip the chicken leg quarters when baking. Kind of like rotisserie chicken, you’ll need an open heat source if you want those skins crispy. For oven-roasting chicken leg quarters at home, you’ll only need a pan and some oil to crisp up the chicken.
How To Reheat Chicken Leg Quarters:
The best way to reheat leftovers is to add a little bit of water to the bottom of a 13x9 pan (about 3/4 cup.) Arrange the chicken over the water and cover it with aluminum foil to create steam. Creating steam will moisten the meat without drying it out.
Can I Use Whole Chicken For This Recipe?
Yes, you can use a whole chicken or use up as many chicken pieces to yield about 4 pounds. Use a sharp knife when dividing the chicken pieces sometimes the fat is like a road map for where you should cut it. Keep in mind smaller cuts will cook faster than bigger pieces so try to cut them about the same size. You can roast any combination of chicken pieces, just cook smaller cuts at 350°F until the internal temperature reads 165°F (about 25-30 minutes), and if you’re baking a mixture of cuts simply remove the smaller ones earlier when done.
Can I Make These in the Crock Pot?
Yes! Make tender chicken leg quarters by placing them into a lightly greased slow cooker! You’ll want to season your meat first, brush with the paprika glaze before placing it into the crock pot, and cook over high for 3-4 hours. You may need to scale down on the recipe to fit your crock pot size, and for extra crispy skin run them under the broiler after cooking in the crock pot.
Tips for Baking Chicken Leg Quarters:
- Bake uncovered for crispy chicken skins.
- Make a paprika paste for darker skin or brush with a paprika glaze for medium-tinted chicken legs.
- The chicken can be marinated for up to 4 days before roasting in the oven.
- For well-seasoned meat, I like to measure all my spices with a heaping spoonful (your meat will be super flavorful!)
- You can substitute soy sauce with Worcestershire sauce.
- Rub the spices into the chicken, then add the soy sauce. Marinate the chicken pieces in the spices first before brushing them with the paprika glaze.
- Lightly grease your pan with olive oil and leave your skins on for juicier meat.
- This recipe is for 2 kilograms of meat which is about 2 whole chickens, cut up.
- You can mix your spices in a small bowl first before rubbing them into the meat, I like to sprinkle it over in the given order.
- For a smokey flavor use smoked paprika.
- If using smaller chicken pieces you can make these in the air fryer!
What To Serve With Baked Leg Quarters:
Leg quarters are the perfect dish to serve as the main dish of your meal! Here are our favorite sides for this recipe!
- Oven Baked Potato Wedges
- Creamy Mashed potatoes or boiled baby potatoes
- dill pickles and ketchup
- Cobb Salad with Green Cobb Salad Dressing
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
Recipe For Chicken Leg Quarters:
Baked Chicken Leg Quarters Recipe
- 1 small saucepan (to make the paprika glaze)
- 1 Pastry Brush
- 1 large mixing bowl (for marinating chicken legs)
- 2 kg chicken leg quarters (about 4.5-pounds)
- 2 tsp sea salt (see notes on all measurements**)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp steak seasoning (any favorite seasoning blend for meats)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 5 tsp soy sauce
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle all the dry seasonings over the chicken leg quarters. Rubs spices into the meat and add the soy sauce. Toss everything together and marinate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Make the paprika glaze: melt the butter in a small saucepan and then whisk in the paprika. Set aside.
- Brush both sides of the marinated leg quarters and place them onto a lightly greased 18x13 pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes or when the internal temperature reads 180°F. Rest the meat for 5 minutes before serving.
- I like to marinate my meat for 3-4 days before baking. It makes the best chicken leg quarters so, plan ahead!