January 8, 2024Review Recipe
Table of Contents
Indulge in this mouthwatering baked chicken legs recipe. These oven-roasted chicken legs are coated in a medley of spices and result in a golden, crispy skin and succulent meat, creating a true winner.
Baked Chicken Legs Ingredients
Each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating the perfect balance of taste and texture. The olive oil ensures a moist interior while combining smoked paprika, garlic powder, lemon & pepper, onion powder, and salt adds depth to the flavor profile.
Together, these ingredients transform ordinary chicken into an extraordinary dish.
- 4 (2 pounds) of chicken quarters/legs
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of lemon & pepper
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Substitutions and Additions
CHICKEN QUARTERS: Bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks are excellent alternatives to chicken leg quarters.
LEMON & PEPPER: If you prefer milder heat, replace it with ½ teaspoon of pepper.
SPICY TWIST: For a kick, add a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper to the seasoning blend.
KID-FRIENDLY: To make this chicken leg recipe more kid-friendly, decrease the paprika and add Italian seasonings.
DELUXE VERSION: Swap the oil with mustard to enhance tenderness and flavor.
How To Make This Baked Chicken Legs Recipe
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
STEP TWO: Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.
STEP THREE: Mix all spices in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
Mixing all spices into a bowl first ensures the even distribution of flavors.
STEP FOUR: Place the chicken legs/quarters on the cookie sheet.
STEP FIVE: Coat each chicken quarter with olive oil, about ½ tablespoon per chicken quarter/leg.
STEP SIX: Sprinkle the seasoning evenly in a thin layer over the chicken on both sides.
STEP SEVEN: Place the chicken open side up, which means the top of the chicken leg with skin on the cookie sheet.
STEP EIGHT: Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your chicken as the suggested baking time approaches.
STEP NINE: Flip the chicken quarters over and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175°F.
Per USDA standards, chicken is cooked at 165°F; however, cooking chicken legs at a higher temperature allows the connective tissue to break down more. This all means the chicken meat will be more tender.
STEP TEN: Cool for 1-2 minutes on the pan.
STEP ELEVEN: Serve and Enjoy!
How To Serve
Serve the baked chicken legs with a side of roasted vegetables, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
Elevate your dish with creamy mashed potatoes that complement the juicy chicken. Or, for a light and refreshing dish, sautéed green beans provide a crisp contrast to the tender chicken.
We have a few quick tips to help you store leftover baked chicken so that you can enjoy it later.
MAKE AHEAD: If you’re planning ahead, you can prepare the seasoning blend in advance to save time on cooking day.
IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
IN THE FREEZER: Freeze the chicken for up to 2-3 months for a convenient meal option. Reheat in the oven or air fryer.
REHEATING: Warm the chicken in the air fryer at 320°F for 4-5 minutes or reheat in a pan in your oven until heated through.
Why We Love This Recipe
There are plenty of reasons that we love to whip up this delicious recipe on a busy weeknight.
UNBEATABLE FLAVOR: The harmonious blend of spices creates an explosion of flavor that’s bound to leave you craving more.
TENDER AND JUICY: The baking method ensures the chicken remains moist and tender, making each bite a delight.
CROWD-PLEASING: Whether at a family dinner or a festive gathering, these chicken legs are sure to impress every palate.
Oven baked chicken legs are a versatile and delicious dish that can easily become a family favorite. With a few simple steps, you can create tender, juicy chicken with crispy skin that’s bursting with flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
While this recipe is tailored for bone-in chicken, you can use boneless chicken thighs or drumsticks with slight adjustments in cooking time.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Chicken legs are safe to eat when the thickest part reaches 165°F (74°C). The juices should run clear, not pink.
Using a wire rack on top of a baking sheet allows air to circulate around the chicken legs, promoting even cooking and helping the skin to crisp up. However, you can also bake them directly on a baking sheet if you prefer.
Seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper are commonly used. Customize the spice mix according to your taste preferences.
To achieve crispy skin, make sure the chicken legs are dry before baking.
It’s recommended to thaw chicken legs before baking to ensure even cooking. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or using the defrost setting on your microwave.
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Baked Chicken Legs
- 4 chicken quarters/legs (2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons lemon & pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside
- Mix all spices in a small bowl. Set aside. Mixing all spices into a bowl ensures the even distribution of flavors.
- Place the chicken legs/quarters on the cookie sheet.
- Coat each chicken quarter with olive oil, about ½ tablespoon per chicken quarter/leg.
- Sprinkle the seasoning evenly in a thin layer over the chicken on both sides.
- Place the chicken open side up, which means the top of the chicken leg with skin on the cookie sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Flip the chicken quarters over and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 175°F.
- Cool for 1-2 minutes on the pan.
- Serve and Enjoy!
- Mixing all spices into a bowl first ensures the even distribution of flavors.
- Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your chicken as the suggested baking time approaches.
- Per USDA standards, chicken is cooked at 165°F; however, cooking chicken legs at a higher temperature allows the connective tissue to break down more. This all means the chicken meat will be more tender.