Why I love this baked chicken legs recipe
I have a love-hate relationship with chicken. Mostly because I’ve had one too many overcooked pieces of chicken breast to count. Thankfully, I’ve found the absolute best way to cook chicken.
Hands down. I mean, this recipe barely even has ingredients, so the chicken really holds its own here. The dark meat has so much flavor, and if you cook it well, it’s delicious.
Here’s what you’ll need to make them
For this recipe, I used a cast iron skillet, but you don’t necessarily need one. Any oven safe dish would work, too. You can also sear your chicken in any skillet or frying pan you have, and then transfer it to an oven safe baking dish.
Other than that you don’t need much to make baked chicken legs.
- Cast iron skillet (or oven safe pan)
- Glass measuring cup
- Kitchen tongs (I love these for handling meat, but also not necessary, a fork will do just fine.)
- Meat thermometer
How to cook chicken legs in the oven
Prep. Heat your skillet medium-high, and season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper (don’t hold back here, salt is important). If you aren’t using a non-stick or cast iron, make sure you use a bit of oil, but only a little.
Sear the chicken. Place the chicken skin side down in the skillet. Let the chicken cook until it naturally releases from the pan. It will sizzle and spray little bits of oil everywhere, and that’s ok.
After about 5 minutes, check to see if the skin will naturally release. If it does, and the skin is nice and golden brown, flip it.
If the chicken isn’t a pretty golden color, let it sit a bit longer, up to 10 minutes. Then flip and repeat process on the other side.
Deglaze the pan. Remove the chicken legs from the pan. Add the wine and garlic cloves and let them simmer while you scrap the little bits from the sides of the pan.
Bake the chicken. After a minute or so, return the chicken to the pan and transfer it to the oven. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until the chicken has reached 165˚F and the skin is crispy and browned. Remove from oven and allow the chicken to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
FAQs and tips for making chicken leg quarters
A chicken leg quarter is a full chicken leg that has not been separated into thigh and drumstick pieces and, sometimes, a portion of the back. Occasionally you will see the term chicken leg and chicken leg quarter used interchangeably.
I like to bake my chicken leg quarter for about 45 minutes (depending on their size), even if I spend extra time searing them before putting them in the oven. Since dark meat tends to be fattier, I prefer the extra time for the fat to render.
Chicken leg quarters should be cooked to a safe temperature of 165˚F. I recommend using a meat thermometer to measure the temperature before serving.
Traditionally, braised meats are cooked with liquid in a covered pan or pot. I prefer my chicken to get crispy on top, so I always braise my chicken legs uncovered.
Technically, yes you can over cook your meat when braising, especially since this recipe uses an open braising technique. Fortunately, this type of recipe much more forgiving than traditional baked chicken, and dark meat usually stays tender even when it’s slightly overcooked.
More chicken recipes you’ll love
- Buffalo chicken meatballs
- Tequila lime chicken
- Grilled chicken drumsticks
- Ground chicken tacos
- Slow cooker peanut chicken
More things to bake in the ovenPrint
Garlic Baked Chicken Legs | This is one of the best chicken recipes you’ll ever try! The chicken leg quarters are seared on the stove to get them crispy and then baked in the oven with garlic and white wine. #dairyfree #chicken
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- Coarse salt & black pepper
- 8 – 10 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 cup dry white wine*
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). On the stove, heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high.
- Season chicken legs liberally with coarse salt and black pepper. Sear the chicken on both sides, until the skin is golden in color and easily removes from the pan.
- Remove from pan and set aside. Add the wine and garlic to the skillet. Bring the liquid to a low simmer and deglaze the pan. Return the chicken legs to the pan and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165˚F. Remove from oven and immediately.
*If you want this recipe to be dairy free, make sure the wine is dairy free. Read more about dairy free alcohol here.
- Category: Mains
- Method: Baking
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 332
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 410.2 mg
- Fat: 22.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 6.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.9 g
- Fiber: 0.1 g
- Protein: 23.4 g
- Cholesterol: 131.8 mg
Keywords: dairy free, paleo, easy, 5 ingredient
Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Melissa Belanger
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