Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters

Grilled Chicken Legs
The Spruce
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Marinate: 4 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings

These grilled chicken legs are not only juicy and delicious, but they're also super easy on the budget. The chicken legs are marinated in a mixture of oil and vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings and spices for about 4 hours, and then they're grilled to perfection. This recipe calls for chicken leg quarters, which is the drumstick and the thigh attached, but you can also use just the drumsticks, making them a great dish for the kids to eat with their hands.

Serve grilled chicken legs with coleslaw and french fries for a fun summertime meal, or mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli for an easy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • 6 chicken leg quarters (drumstick attached to the thigh)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. In a large, resealable, plastic food storage bag, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic, and Tabasco. Add the chicken and turn to coat thoroughly. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

    marinate meat
     The Spruce
  3. Remove the chicken to a plate and pour the marinade into a saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    boil ingredients
     The Spruce
  4. Heat the grill to moderate or medium-high heat, 350 F to 375 F.

  5. Place the chicken over the direct heat and sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

    sear chicken
     The Spruce
  6. Move the chicken legs off of the direct heat and cook over indirect heat, turning frequently and basting with the reserved boiled marinade, for 35 to 55 minutes, depending on their size. The chicken should be fork-tender and juices will run clear. The temperature should register at least 165 F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat but not touching bone.

    grill chicken over indirect heat
     The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • The recipe can also be made with separate chicken thighs or drumsticks or split chicken breasts. If you use boneless chicken breasts or thighs, reduce the cooking time accordingly. A boneless chicken breast will take about 20 minutes—3 to 4 minutes per side over direct heat and then about 10 to 15 minutes over indirect heat with the grill covered.
  • Replace the fresh crushed garlic with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder or granulated garlic.
  • For more heat, add extra Tabasco sauce or use another hot sauce. Crushed red pepper flakes may be added to the marinade as well.

Are Chicken Legs Healthy?

Chicken legs contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, including B-12, selenium, and phosphorous, as well as a good dose of protein. However, when compared to chicken breast meat, the dark leg meat is higher in calories and fat. And when the skin is eaten, the fat and calorie content will increase.

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