Whenever someone asks me for a recommendation for a main dish recipe on a tight budget, I always refer them to this Baked Chicken Leg Quarters recipe. Not only are they one of the cheapest cuts of protein, when cooked using this method they are fall off the bone delicious.
The leg quarters are seasoned with a simple mixture of spices that you most likely already have in your kitchen. Then they are baked in the oven until they are golden brown on the outside, and moist and juicy on the inside.
However, you may be wondering, if they taste so good, why are they so inexpensive to purchase. And that is a good question!
Although the cost of all protein is on the rise, chicken leg quarters continue to be one of the cheapest cuts of meat to buy at the grocery. That is of course, if you can find them stocked in the meat section.
So why are they flying off the shelves? In today’s economy, everyone is looking for ways to save money while at the grocery.
And because they are so cheap, and can be bought in small packages or 10 pound bulk bags, they are a little more difficult to find. But once you do find them, you are going to fall in love with the flavor and of course, the cost.
Why Are Chicken Leg Quarters Inexpensive?
There are 3 simple reasons why you can fill your grocery cart with chicken leg quarters and not break the bank.
1. Less Work Involved to Process The Meat
Most often, a whole chicken is processed in 7 different parts. You can purchase chicken breasts and thighs, in both bone in and boneless forms. Then you can also purchase chicken wings, chicken legs, and of course chicken leg quarters.
Chicken leg quarters takes up 1/4th of the entire bird. Therefore, it takes the butcher way less time to process than if cutting the meat into individual sections.
In addition, there is no time involved removing the bone or skin. Therefore, the leg quarters can be ready for the meat counter in mere seconds.
2. Less Amount of Meat per Pound
Although chicken leg quarters are rather large, they actually contain less meat than a boneless chicken breast. Therefore, from a cost standpoint, the chicken breasts will cost more money per pound because you get more meat.
However, because the chicken quarters are made of dark meat, they contain way more flavor than the mild white meat of the breasts. In addition, there are other ways that you can maximize your purchase of chicken leg quarters.
Simply use the bone and cartilage remnants to make chicken broth! Something you can’t do with boneless chicken breasts.
3. Marketing Tactics
Over the past few decades, there has been a big shift to promote ‘White Meat’. Between studies finding that white meat is better for your health, there has been a big shift to use chicken breast instead of red meat or even dark meat from a chicken.
And because chicken leg quarters are all dark meat, there was an initial decline in purchase interest. Therefore, the production companies lowered the price of dark meat so that all the chicken parts would be purchased and equally used.
However, even with the common knowledge of eating a healthy balanced diet, the chicken leg quarters never remained on the grocery store shelves. Instead, they are being quickly being sold not only for their cost, but for their flavor as well!
Although there are various ways that you can cook leg quarters, one of my favorite ways is a simple recipe that requires just a few basic ingredients.
Baked Chicken Leg Quarters Recipe
*A printable recipe card is located at the bottom of this article which contains the specific measurements, temperatures and cook times. However, continue reading below to learn about more helpful tips about this specific recipe.
- 2 chicken leg quarters
- olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Kosher salt
- Smoked paprika*
- Ground black pepper
*Although I use a lot of Smoked Paprika in my recipes, you can substitute Hungarian or Sweet Paprika instead.
The first step in making Baked Chicken Leg Quarters is to preheat the oven to 390°F (199°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish with foil.
You could also spray the dish with non-stick spray, however the foil makes for easy clean up! Set the sheet aside while you prepare the meat.
Remove the chicken leg quarters from the package and pat both sides dry with paper towels. Then rub oil all over both sides of the skin.
Set the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and prepare the seasoning mixture. In a small bowl mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper until well combined.
Sprinkle both sides of each leg quarter with the dry seasoning mixture. Then place the chicken, skin side up on the baking sheet or pan.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. Cook until an Instant Read Digital Food Thermometer that is inserted in the thickest part of the meat reads 180°F (82°C).
Although the chicken is safe to consume when the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part, I prefer to cook it a little longer. This is because the meat literally pulls right off the bone when cooked at an internal temperature of 180°F.
Once the Baked Chicken Leg Quarters are done, you can place the baking sheet under a broiler if you want crispier skin. Just be sure to watch the chicken carefully so that the skin bubbles and turns golden brown instead of burning.
This process should take only 2-4 minutes, so watch carefully. Then remove the baking dish from the oven and let the chicken sit for 5 minutes before serving.
What To Serve With Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
Now that you have the chicken prepared you may be wondering what side dishes to serve goes well with them. Below I have listed a few of my favorite chicken side dish recipes.
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Loaded Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Red Potatoes
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Garlic Green Beans
- Simple Caprese Side Salad
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
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Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
Moist and juicy chicken leg quarters that are seasoned with a homemade dry rub. A flavorful and easy to make meal that is also budget friendly.
- 2 chicken leg quarters
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 390°F (199°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish with foil.
- Remove the chicken leg quarters from the package and pat both sides dry with paper towels. Rub oil all over the chicken leg quarters. Set on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper until well combined. Sprinkle both sides of each leg quarter with the seasoning. Place the chicken, skin side up on the baking sheet or pan.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. Cook until an instant read digital food thermometer that is inserted in the thickest part of the meat reads 180°F (82°C).
- If you want the skin to be crispier, turn the oven on Broil, and broil for 2-4 minutes, watching carefully so that the skin doesn't burn.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe provided by iCookfortwo.com
Nutrition InformationYield 2
Amount Per Serving Calories 540Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 328mgSodium 569mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 62g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.