Baked chicken legs are one of the easiest ways to get a great chicken dinner on the table. Chicken legs (with the thigh and the drumstick attached) are one of the least expensive cuts of chicken you can buy, and also one of the most flavorful, tender, and juicy. They are cheap because they are the dark meat parts of the chicken, and in general many people prefer white meat, but to skip the dark meat is really to miss out. Sometimes whole chicken legs are even lower in price than the drumsticks or thighs on their own.
And while the chicken is great simply seasoned, see the Note for other seasoning ideas. Leftover meat is great shredded in all kinds of dishes, from enchiladas to soups, so make extra to have on hand throughout the week.
- 4 pounds chicken legs (bone-in, skin-on)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or softened butter
- dash salt (or to taste)
- dash pepper (or to taste)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil, if you wish, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Rub the chicken pieces with the olive oil or the butter, and season with salt and pepper. Place them on the baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, until the juices run clear when a sharp knife is inserted into the chicken, and the skin is crispy. Serve hot, warm or cold.
Note: You can add any of the following, alone or in combination, to the chicken thighs after coating them with olive oil and seasoning them with salt and pepper. Just sprinkle on the seasonings of your choice, making sure to coat the skin evenly. Get the kids involved in poking around in the spice drawer and experimenting with new flavors.
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram, or tarragon
- Juice from one lemon
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
For more chicken recipes, check out: (Some recipes will call for shredded chicken)
Chicken Breasts with Basic Herb-Wine Pan Sauce
Slow Cooker Asian Glazed Chicken Wings
Grilled Chicken and Avocado Flatbread Sandwich
Turkey or Chicken Chili
Spiralized Cheesy Butternut Squash and Carrot Casserole with Chicken
Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup
The Easiest Shortcut Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup
Butternut Squash, Black Bean and Chicken Enchilada Cups
Creamed Spinach Stuffed Chicken Thighs
Herby Scallion Chicken
Chopped Salad with Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemon Thyme Dressing
Greek Roasted Chicken Thighs
Fragrant Chicken Tomato Soup
Roasted Chicken with Orange Honey Mustard Glaze
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lime, Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Marinade
Israeli Couscous with Chicken
Chicken Kawarma with Lemon Sauce over Hummus