Oven baked chicken leg quarters with a rich vegetable base is the perfect summer style dinner that my whole family loves. Super tender and juicy meat on the inside and crispy skin baked to perfection on the outside… all finished in about 1 hour. And on top of that, this recipe is so simple that it’s almost impossible to mess it up. Let me show you how I cook it.
Chicken leg quarters… What are they?
The leg of a chicken consists of the thigh and the drumstick, these are mostly sold separately as you know. But you can also buy the whole legs or even the so-called “chicken leg quarter” which is basically the full leg and a small part of the back of the chicken.
So why should you buy the “quarter” and not just the thighs or drumsticks? The main reason is the price. Just as it is cheaper to buy the whole chicken, chicken leg quarters are less expensive too, simply because there is less work involved on behalf of the producer.
How Long To Bake Chicken Leg Quarters For?
Based on their size, chicken quarters take 45-50 minutes to bake at 400F or 200C. The safe internal temperature for chicken set by the FDA is 165F or 74C.
List Of Ingredients:
5 chicken leg quarters
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 red onions
5 garlic cloves
½ cup of cherry tomatoes
½ cup of olives
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1.5 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of red paprika
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of honey
How To Bake Chicken Leg Quarters
Watch the video or scroll below for step by step instructions:
Let’s start by seasoning our chicken leg quarters. We need 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, one and a half teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper, 1 teaspoon of red paprika and some lemon juice (half of 1 lemon). Mix it all up properly to make sure that the salt dissolves.
Adding some herbs is always a good idea. I’ve used fresh basil and rosemary, but you could also use thyme, oregano or cilantro. Just quickly chop them up and add both to the marinade.
In with the chicken leg quarters. Using your hands to coat them up with the marinade works the best, just don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards. Safety first, right? Let the meat absorb the flavors for a while and use the time to prepare the vegetables. If you have the time, let the quarters marinate for a few hours or even overnight.
Now to the vegetables. You can use the same veggies as I did, or choose your own. I went with red and yellow bell peppers that I have cut into small pieces. I have also used two smallish red onions sliced into thin pieces and 5 garlic cloves (chopped) to enhance the flavors even more.
The next step is browning the chicken leg quarters on high heat from both sides. I’ve used olive oil, but feel free to use your favorite type. You will need to use a big pan for this, or do it in two batches. Each side takes about 3 minutes, keep in mind we are not trying to cook the meat at this stage.
Once browned, remove the chicken legs from the pan and drop in a tablespoon of butter. Let it melt, add a tablespoon of honey.
Now add all the vegetables you have prepared. Sautee on high for about 3 minutes and mix frequently. Don’t cook the veggies for too long or they would start to break up and lose their shape.
Go in with about half a cup of cherry tomatoes, mine were pretty small so there was no need to cut them at all. And don’t forget to season the vegetables just a little bit. A touch of salt and black pepper is all we need. Mix properly and we are ready for the next step.
Transfer the vegetables into a deep baking dish including all the juices from the pan and spread them out evenly to form a solid base.
Place the chicken leg quarters atop of the vegetable base and make sure there is some space left in between them. Now fill these spaces with black and green olives, I have used about half a cup of them. Push the olives down a bit, so they don’t sit on top of the chicken legs.
There should be some spare marinade left, don’t let it go to waste and pour it over the chicken legs.
And we are ready to bake. Preheat your oven to 400F or 200C and bake for about 45-50 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken leg quarters you are using. You can turn the broiling mode on for the final 5 to 7 minutes, to crisp the skin up a little bit.
And we are done! These baked chicken legs go really well with steamed rice, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes, the choice is yours. Don’t forget to add plenty of the delicious vegetables on the plate too, they go exceptionally well with the meat.
Thanks for reading and see you soon.
Optional tips and modifications for this recipe
- You can use the same recipe with chicken thighs or drumsticks, the only change would be slightly shorter baking time. Alternatively, you can even use turkey wings or legs, but again… adjust the cooking time to reflect their size.
- Try to change the vegetables a little bit in case I have used something you don’t like. Great alternatives would be zucchini, eggplant, carrots, celery, shallots, broccoli, pumpkins or even potatoes.
- Store the cooked chicken quarters in the fridge for up to 48 hours and reheat in a microwave.
More Chicken Recipes To Try:
Marinated chicken wings with crispy potatoes.
Braised chicken thighs with vegetables.
Chicken Stroganoff with pasta.
Fried chicken livers with mashed potatoes.
Deep fried Breaded chicken wings with chips.
Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
- 5 chicken leg quarters
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2 red onions
- 5 garlic cloves
- ½ cup of cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup of olives
- Lemon juice 1/2 of a lemon
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1.5 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of red paprika
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Clean the chicken leg quarters with a paper towel and pat them dry. There is a bit of the back bone attached to the thigh part, you can cut that off or leave it, choice is yours.
- Prepare the seasoning mixture by mixing 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1.5 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper, 1 teaspoon of red paprika and the juice from 1 half of a lemon. Add roughly chopped rosemary and basil.
- Coat the quarters with the seasoning mixture and let sit on the counter. For the best results, let marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- Prepare the vegetables now. Cut the bell pepper and onions into smallish pieces or as preferred. Finely chop about 5 cloves of garlic. Wash your cherry tomatoes and drain the olives.
- Heat up some olive oil in a large pan and brown the chicken leg quarters on high heat from both sides. Give it about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken and add a tablespoon of butter into the same pan without cleaning it. Go in with the peppers, onions and garlic and sautee on high for about 3 minutes.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper and saute for an extra minute or two.
- Transfer the veggies into a deep baking dish and spread them out to form an even layer.
- Place the chicken legs atop of the veggies and spread them out to create some spaces in between. Fill these spaces with the olives. If there is any marinade left, pour it over the chicken quarters.
- Preheat your oven to 400F or 200C and bake for 45-50 minutes, based on the size of the chicken quarters.
- For the final 5-7 minutes, turn the broiling mode on to crisp the skin up.
- Serve these baked chicken leg quarters with steamed rice, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes.