Lemon and Garlic Chicken Leg Quarters

Chicken Legs in Skillet
Diana Rattray
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings

A buttery mixture of lemon, garlic, and thyme flavor this great-tasting grilled or broiled chicken. This recipe is an excellent choice for chicken leg quarters or whole chicken legs.

Add an extra garlic clove for more garlic flavor. If you have fresh thyme, use about 2 teaspoons.

Not only are chicken legs juicy and flavorful—they're less expensive than many other cuts. The recipe can be prepared with bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks as well (use 8 pieces).


  • 4 chicken leg quarters (bone-in, or whole legs)
  • 1 lemon (cut in half)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika

Steps to Make It

  1. Rub the chicken leg quarters all over with the lemon.

  2. Combine the butter, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Brush or spoon the mixture onto skin side of the chicken legs.

  3. Preheat the broiler (high, or 500 F).

  4. Place the chicken on the rack of a broiler pan. Pour about 1/4 inch of water into the bottom of the pan to prevent the fat from burning and smoking. Broil the chicken about 6 inches from heat for 10 minutes. Turn and brush with the butter mixture. Broil for 10 minutes longer. Brush again with the butter mixture and broil until tender and golden brown. Look for a minimum temperature of 165 F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. The juices should run clear when pierced with a fork. 

  5. Brush with more butter mixture before serving.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


  • A whole chicken leg consists of the drumstick and thigh, while a chicken leg quarter includes a portion of the back. Use either one in this recipe.