How to Cook a Family Pack of Leg Quarters


If you’ve got a family pack of leg quarters sitting in your refrigerator, you probably have a family that is ready to devour them, too. Leg quarters represent an appreciable portion of meat of a chicken, including the drumstick, thigh and part of the back. Still, it’s not always easy to find a topping for them that appeals to young and grown-up tastes. Try one of two sure-fire crowd-pleasers for the leg quarters and serve up a hearty meal that makes a grand presentation on a dinner plate.

Things You'll Need

  • Package of leg quarters (rinsed and patted dry)
  • Seasoning mixture
  • Bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • Nonfat cooking spray
  • Tongs
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Mix a taco-flavored seasoning mix for your leg quarters. Combine some taco seasoning, minced garlic and some lemon or lime juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle in some cumin or red pepper flakes, if younger taste buds can handle the heat. Rub the mixture over the chicken quarters and place them on a baking sheet sprayed with nonfat cooking spray. Alternatively, combine some dry ranch dressing mix, all-purpose baking mix, salt, pepper and paprika in one bowl and a few blended eggs in another. Dip the chicken quarters in the egg, then cover them in the ranch mix and set the chicken on a sprayed baking sheet.

  • Let the chicken quarters sit at room temperature for up to 10 minutes to absorb the flavors. Or you can refrigerate them, covered, for as long as eight hours before you cook them.

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, or set your grill to a medium flame. Bake the chicken for about 35 minutes in the oven or for about 25 minutes on the grill. Turn the quarters at least once with tongs, repositioning them so that the each quarter in the large family pack gets prime time in the warmest part of your oven or grill.

  • Check the chicken’s internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. It should register at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe, according to federal guidelines. Check several pieces of chicken, all in the meatiest region, to ensure that they are fully cooked. Add cooking time if the chicken hasn't reached safe temperature.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get into the family spirit of a family pack of chicken by encouraging your family or guests to assemble accompaniments for this meaty dish. Serve shredded cheese, tomatoes and guacamole with the taco-flavored chicken and creamy ranch dressing and celery sticks with the ranch-flavored quarters. Corn-on-the-cob will complement either dish.

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