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Learn how to make the juices with meat fall off the bones chicken leg quarters, while still achieving a super crispy skin. The secret to this amazing recipe is to roast the chicken on low and slow and then finish it off on a high temperature, to crisp up the skin.
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We just came back from our amazing trip to Europe: Spain, Poland, and England (+ Wales) and admittedly we’re a bit tired. Traveling with two little boys and three(ish) countries can take a toll. Compound that with a touch of jetlag.
Anyhow, suffice it to say, we’re happy to be back home. That said, this trip proved to be a bit of culinary exploration for my husband and I. However, my boys were not quite as adventurous. During this trip, we found ourselves eating out all the time, but my kids wouldn’t eat anything else except for pizza or chicken nuggets…go figure. 🙁
In light of their hunger strike (save for pizza & nuggets), I knew that as exhausted as I was I needed to put some fuel and good nutrients into my little men when we returned. So I made my famous Cabbage Soup (and both boys devoured it). I also fell back on my go-to for spinach intake: Greek Spinach Rice (believe it or not, my picky eaters love it), and this slow-roasted chicken leg quarters, with a super crispy skin. Well, I think we are back on track.
Secret to Make Soft Chicken Leg Quarters with Super Crispy Skin
This recipe for Slow Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters is unique and different from my famous Oven Roasted Chicken Leg (Thighs and Drumsticks), which are also super delicious. If you are short of time and want to have a great chicken dinner then check it out.
But for this recipe, I used whole legs (quarters), which ensures it’s super juiciness. But then to make them fall-off-the-bone soft, they’re slowly roasted, while covered, for approximately 1 hour & 40 minutes (if they are small 1 hour & 30 minutes will be sufficient) on a low temperature (300F).
And then they’re finished off uncovered on a high temperature (425F) for 10-15 minutes, to get crispy skin (watch them because you want to have some juices left on the sheet pan and if they are getting low, add a splash of water). This part depends on your oven and how quickly it can go up.
The chicken is already fully cooked. You only want to crisp up the skin so cook them on high temperature to your desired skin crispiness and make sure that not all the liquid has evaporated because this sauce is super delicious! (IMPORTANT!)
This recipe is super easy and requires only a few ingredients. The only thing you need to have in abundance here is time. You’ll need two hours to make these slow-roasted chicken leg quarters. But, you’ll only need 5 minutes of the prep time (the oven does the rest).
My good friend Marta got this recipe from her friend and she makes it often. However, she roasts the chicken for 2 hours at 350F (1 hour and 40 minutes uncovered and 20 minutes uncovered). I tried both methods and I like lower temperature first, finished off at a higher temperature – so as that the skin doesn’t break up. Feel free to try both methods and let me know which one you liked more.
Ingredients Needed For This Chicken Leg Quarters Recipe
As mentioned above, this is a super simple recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chicken Leg Quarters – for this recipe use the whole legs instead of thighs or drumsticks; it will ensure the ultimate juiciness. I always buy organic chicken but it’s a personal preference, so feel free to buy whichever you’d like.
- Seasoning – I only used salt, pepper, and sweet paprika. You can use kosher salt or table salt. I found that the table salt works really well for this recipe as it is very fine and it seasons the chicken evenly. I also used fresh ground pepper and sweet Hungarian Paprika. I love Hungarian paprika because of it’s very sweet and rich flavor, but feel free to use regular paprika (but not hot!).
- Cooking spray – or a thin brush of oil on the baking sheet or roasting dish will ensure that the chicken won’t stick to the surface.
You’ll also need:
- Heavy baking sheet or roasting dish
How to Make Slow Roasted Chicken Legs
- Pat dry your chicken. To ensure that you’ll achieve a super crispy skin, you need to remove any excess moisture from the chicken legs. Pat them dry on both sides before seasoning.
- Season the chicken legs on both sides. The amount of seasoning will depend on the size of your chicken legs and personal preference. I would say that about 1/4 teaspoon on each (salt, paprika, and pepper) leg would suffice.
- Preheat your oven. To slow roast the chicken leg quarters preheat your oven to 300F.
- Prepare the chicken for roasting. Spray your heavy baking sheet or roasting dish with some cooking oil. Place your seasoned chicken leg quarters on top and cover with aluminum foil.
- Roast the chicken leg quarters. Place the sheet with chicken in the middle rack of a preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 30-40 minutes. Then raise the temperature of the oven to 425F and remove the foil. Depending on how much juice the chicken produces, you may want to add a splash of water. You want the bottom of the dish to be covered with chicken juices (BTW, they ‘re delicious too). You may want to spoon over a bit of these juice on top of each leg and roast them for another 10-15 minutes until the skin is super crispy.
- Serve warm. When you take the chicken out of the oven, it will be hot. Let it cool off a bit before serving.
What to Serve with this Roasted Chicken Legs
These chickens are kinda like the ‘black garment’ to your kitchen menu (i.e., anything really goes with it). There are so many ways to serve these Slow Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters, so feel free to serve it with any of your favorite sauces or sides. Here are a couple of my suggestions:
- Sauces: This chicken will taste amazing with Easy Homemade Gravy, Romesco Sauce, Tzatziki or Lemon Basil Pesto.
- Potatoes: Any of these potato dishes will work amazing: Greek Lemon Potatoes, Potatoes Boulangere, Parsley Potatoes, Spanish Potato Salad or Dill Mashed Potatoes.
- Pasta: I’d suggest Mediterranean Farfalle Pasta Salad, Pesto Pasta with Burrata, Spinach Parmesan Orzo
- Salads: Polish Cucumber Salad (Mizeria), Best Green Salad, Tomato Feta Salad, Greek Horiatiki Salad, Summer Panzanella.
Other Chicken Recipes to Try:
- Baked Mustard Chicken with Clementines
- Chicken Provencal with Shallots and Garlic
- Chicken Chasseur (French Country Chicken)
- Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
Slow Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters
- 6 whole Chicken Legs Quarters
- 1.5 teaspoon Salt Table or Kosher
- 1.5 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
- 1.5 teaspoon Back Pepper Freshly grounded
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat your oven to 300F.
- Spray your baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Pat dry your chicken. Season your chicken legs on both sides with approximately 1/4 teaspoon of each: salt, pepper, and paprika. Cover the sheet with aluminum foil and place it in the middle rack in the oven.
- Roast the chicken covered in 300F for 1 hour and 30-40 minutes* (See Recipe Notes below)
- Remove the foil, raise the temperature of the oven to 425F.
- Spoon some of the juices over the chicken. If needed add some water to the sheet pan.
- Roast the chicken on high temperature for another 10-15 minutes* (See Recipe Notes) Serve warm.