Baked chicken legs used to be a standard recipe among home cooks when I was a kid. Nowadays, people have switched to chicken breasts for so many recipes. But if you want tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken, this baked chicken legs recipe is for you.
Chicken Legs Recipe: Preparation Tips
Not only are chicken legs a more economical option than chicken breasts, but they are more flavorful because of the higher fat content. Also, they are almost impossible to mess up — unlike chicken breasts. The legs can stand up to long cooking times, even in the crockpot, making them even juicier and more tender than they already are. For this particular recipe, look for chicken leg quarters on the bone and with the skin on for maximum flavor.
If you choose to make this recipe in the crockpot, be sure to follow the cooking instructions on your crockpot for length of cooking time. I love this chicken leg recipe in the crockpot as it fills the house with an incredible aroma.
Don't worry about washing your chicken since chicken companies have rigorous cleaning processes for germ-free meat before shipping to grocery stores. Set your mind at ease by knowing that any lingering bacteria will be killed off in the oven anyway, as long as your chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit.
To prevent the seasoning from falling off, get rid of any juices on the meat by patting with a paper towel while the meat is still in the original packaging to avoid contaminating the sink, faucet and cutting board with bacteria and helps the chicken brown better.
- 4 chicken leg quarters with skin and bone-in
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season chicken leg quarters with salt, pepper and garlic powder in an oven-safe dish with sides that are between 2 to 4 inches tall and big enough to fit all the thighs with a little room around each piece. Make sure chicken legs are placed skin side up and brush with olive oil.
- Bake chicken legs 35-45 minutes until skin is browned and juices run clear when chicken legs are pierced with a fork.
- Spoon pan juices over the chicken leg quarters and transfer to plates. Serve immediately. This recipe is wonderful with a side of fresh cut fries, roasted veggies or my favorite, Hasselback potatoes.
Don't miss: Top 10 Recipes for Chicken Thighs
For other easy chicken recipes, try this Slow Cooked Oven Baked BBQ Chicken and Chicken and Rice with Chorizo. Looking for another classic? Try this Spring Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie Casserole. If you're working with frozen chicken, here's How to Thaw Frozen Chicken properly.