Baked Chicken Legs are always a good choice for the budget-conscious household. This delicious recipe produces the most tender juicy meat with crisp skin for the perfect dinner. Since they’re so easy to make, they’re also great to bake and pull the meat for Homemade Chicken Spaghetti or Chicken Salad!
When it comes to finding ways to save money without sacrificing pure deliciousness, baked chicken leg quarters are on my short list. But cost is a very small part of the picture. Nothing compares to bone-in, skin on dark-meat poultry for juicy, tasty yumminess. Plus, it’s just about the fastest dish to prep that you can imagine.
A simple seasoning of garlic powder and herbs is all you need (use fresh herbs if you have them on hand or use 1/3 the herbs if using dried). I love rosemary with poultry, and that’s what this baked chicken legs recipe calls for. But you can also make these just as easily, with nothing more than salt and freshly ground pepper (or turn them into baked bbq chicken legs with your favorite barbecue sauce).
How to Bake Chicken Legs
Chicken legs are a dark meat cut of chicken consisting of both a thigh and drumstick. As much as I love a juicy Oven Baked Chicken Breast, I find that dark meat (including chicken thighs) carries so much more flavor.
Keeping the skin on helps seal in the juices and it comes out crisp and delicious! Even if you decide not to eat the skin, I’d suggest cooking these chicken legs with the skin on.
- Cut away any large chunks of fat if desired (I usually don’t bother).
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture on the skin.
- Toss the chicken legs with olive oil, garlic powder and herbs.
- Place on a rimmed baking sheet uncovered and bake until the juices run clear and a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Broil 1-2 minutes at the end if desired.
Serve your oven baked chicken legs with cheesy scalloped potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes, for a hearty and satisfying dinner. If you have leftovers, they’ll keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Or, you can freeze them for up to four months.
How Long to Bake Chicken Legs
You need to be food-safe when it comes to any poultry or poultry product. Cooking times will vary, depending on the oven temperature, whether the chicken starts at room temperature or is straight out of the refrigerator.
Baked chicken legs should be cooked until the juices run clear and the internal temperature has reached 165°F. Always preheat your oven before putting the legs in. A higher temperature will produce a crisper skin.
- Cook bone in chicken legs for 40-45 minutes at 400°F
- Cook bone in chicken legs for 45-55 minutes at 375°F
- Cook bone in chicken legs for 50-60 minutes at 350°F
The best way to ensure doneness is to use a meat thermometer (I never cook meat without it). Make sure you don’t hit a bone while checking the temperature, or the reading will be off.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Cordon Bleu – a classic
- Easy Grilled Chicken Breast – great for summer grilling or to to salads
- Teriyaki Chicken– quick weeknight meal
- Creamy Chicken Enchiladas – personal favorite!
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos – set it and forget it
Crispy Baked Chicken Legs
- 5 chicken legs bone-in and skin-on
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Toss chicken legs with olive oil, herbs, garlic powder and paprika. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken reaches 165°F.
- Broil 1 minute if desired.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)