Garlic Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters

Garlic roasted chicken leg recipe

​The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
189 Calories
13g Fat
2g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 414mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 212mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tender, juicy roasted chicken leg quarters are not only easy to prepare and delicious, but they're also easy on the budget. The leg quarter is made up of the thigh, drumstick, and part of the back of the chicken. It's named a quarter because it consists of about a quarter of the whole bird. The dark meat takes well to roasting and yields moist and flavorful chicken. This recipe could also be used with a quartered whole chicken, or use four split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.

Serve this tasty chicken with mashed or roasted potatoes and your favorite vegetable dish or salad for a memorable family meal or Sunday dinner. The recipe is easily doubled for a large family or party—just use a pan large enough to hold the legs in a single layer.

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"Juicy, flavorful, and simple, this chicken recipe is a great weeknight meal. Despite the inclusion of chili powder, it’s not spicy. Instead, the spices have a nice flavor balance that complements the garlic. Prep was simple, as was cleanup. It’s nice to have another recipe that you can pull together quickly for when you’re busy." —Colleen Graham

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 chicken leg quarters

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or 1/4 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup white wine)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making garlic roasted chicken legs
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond 
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish or line it with foil.

    Lightly oiled baking dish
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  3. Combine the garlic, oregano, salt, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well. Use a mortar and pestle to form a paste or mash it with a fork.

    Combine garlic spices in a mortar and pestle
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  4. Snip off any excess skin and fat deposits from the chicken. Arrange the leg quarters in the prepared baking pan and rub the garlic-spice mixture over each piece. 

    Leg quarters arranged in baking dish with spice mixture
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  5. Pour 1/2 cup of chicken broth into the bottom of the baking dish. If desired, use 1/4 cup of chicken broth with 1/4 cup of dry white wine instead.

    Pour chicken broth in dish
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  6. Bake the chicken, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the chicken registers at least 165 F on a meat thermometer.

    Baked chicken with a thermometer inserted
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  7. Enjoy.

    Garlic roasted chicken legs in a dish
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond 

Tips

  • To check for doneness, insert an instant-read food thermometer into the center thickest piece of chicken, not touching bone. According to government recommendations, dark meat poultry must be cooked to a minimum of 165 F for safe consumption.
  • Use the recipe with drumsticks for a game-day gathering or tailgating. Roast the chicken and serve it warm from a slow cooker.

Recipe Variations

  • For Cajun-spiced chicken, omit the chili powder and ground cumin. Decrease the salt to 1/4 teaspoon and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of Cajun or Creole seasoning to the oil and garlic mixture. 
  • Substitute melted butter for the olive oil.
  • Cut up about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of potatoes (or use whole small baby potatoes) and 2 to 3 carrots, toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, and arrange the vegetables around the chicken pieces. Roast until the chicken is done and the potatoes are tender.

Are Chicken Leg Quarters White or Dark Meat?

Chicken leg quarters consist of the drumstick, thigh, and a portion of the back, and are made up of dark meat.

Why Are Chicken Leg Quarters So Cheap?

The less butchering required, the cheaper the chicken—chicken leg quarters need minimal butchering and are dark meat, which is typically less expensive than white meat like chicken breasts. Buying whole or not fully cut-up chicken (especially dark meat) that is bone-in and skin-on tends to be the most cost-effective option since it requires the least processing.