Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters

Grilled Chicken Legs
Whole Grilled Chicken Legs. istetiana / Getty Images
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Ratings (27)

These grilled chicken legs are not only juicy and delicious, they're super easy on the budget! The chicken legs are marinated for about 4 hours and then they're grilled to perfection. Use whole chicken legs* or leg quarters in the recipe.

The marinade is a combination of oil and vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings and spices. Add more hot sauce or Tabasco for extra heat. 

The recipe may also be made with chicken thighs or drumsticks, or use 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.

What You'll Need

  • 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 Tabasco sauce
  • 6 chicken leg quarters

How to Make It

  1. In a large resealable food storage bag (plastic), 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.
  2. Pour marinade into a saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the grill to moderate or medium-high heat, about 350° to 375°.
  1. First, sear the chicken over direct heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Continue grilling the chicken leg quarters over indirect heat -- not directly over coals or gas burners -- turning frequently and basting with the reserved boiled marinade, for about 35 to 55 minutes, depending on size.
  2. 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.
  3. *Whole chicken legs are made up of the drumstick and thigh, while chicken leg quarters contain a portion of the back.

**According to foodsafety.gov, the minimum safe temperature for poultry is 165° F (74° C).

Tips and Variations

  • The canola oil may be replaced with vegetable oil or another neutral flavor oil.
  • 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.