Lemon roasted chicken leg quarters are zesty and savory with an irresistible golden-brown skin. This budget-friendly recipe makes for easy weeknight meal prep. You can roast a batch over the weekend and toss the leftover chicken in quick dishes during the week.
What’s a chicken leg quarter?
I asked myself this question two weeks ago while scanning the local grocery store ad. Chicken leg quarters were marked down to $0.39 per pound, with the caveat that you had to buy at least ten pounds.
One way I save money on groceries is by stocking up on pricier items when they go on sale. Chicken is a great example. The price can vary widely from week to week, but most stores run specials on chicken pretty regularly. When I can get it for cheap, I buy several pounds at a time and freeze it to use throughout the coming weeks.
Which brings me back to chicken leg quarters. I’d never cooked chicken leg quarters before and I wasn’t sure what I would do with ten pounds of them. But I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get TEN POUNDS of chicken for less than FOUR DOLLARS. And so began my quest to learn what to do with chicken leg quarters.
What to do with chicken leg quarters
As it turns out, chicken leg quarters are the ultimate ingredient for meal prepping on a budget. The trick is to roast a double batch at a time, eat half for dinner, then pick the meat off the bones from the rest and use it in quick dishes later in the week. And the best part? You can stick all the bones in the freezer and save them to make broth. Nothing goes to waste!
Just look at everything I was able to do with ten pounds of chicken leg quarters, and it only cost me $3.90.
- I made four pounds of lemony herb roasted chicken leg quarters and served half for dinner with this beautiful broccoli, arugula, and lentil salad from Cookie + Kate. Then I used the leftovers to make chicken pot pie.
- A few days later, I roasted another four pounds of chicken with the lemony herb recipe. We ate half with roasted potatoes that night, then made cauliflower chicken fried rice the next day, and I still had two cups of cooked chicken left that I stuck in the freezer to use later.
- Then last night, I made lemony herb roasted chicken one last time with the remaining two pounds of chicken. Yep, we ate it three times in two weeks, because it’s that good.
- But wait. There’s more. THEN I used all the bones (plus some other bones I already had in the freezer) to make a ton of homemade chicken broth.
People. That’s SIX meals (including the two cups of chicken I still have in the freezer). Plus all the dishes I’ll make with my frozen chicken broth. For less than FOUR dollars. Chicken leg quarters for the win.
How to make lemon roasted chicken leg quarters
It’s so easy! Pat your chicken dry. Rub it with a little olive oil and some spices. Brush it with butter for beautiful, crispy golden-brown skins. Stick sliced lemons on top of and underneath the chicken pieces. Roast it in the oven. Do a celebratory dance because you just made a delicious meal for less than the price of a cup of coffee. Good job, you!
Lemon Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters
- 2 pounds chicken leg quarters bone-in and with skins
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- ½ lemon sliced thinly
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Alternatively, you can use a cast iron skillet, which does not need to be lined.
- Thinly slice the lemon. Mix together the spices, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set the lemon slices and spice mixture aside.
- Pat the chicken dry on all sides with a paper towel, then place it on the baking sheet or in the cast iron skillet with the skins facing up. Give each piece of chicken plenty of space so that the skins can brown.
- Coat the chicken with olive oil and then rub the spice mixture on all sides. Brush butter on the top of each piece.
- Place one lemon slice underneath each piece of chicken. Then place the rest of the lemon slices on top of the chicken pieces or in any nook or cranny you can find.
- Bake the chicken for 30 to 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F, turning the pan halfway through for even browning.
- If you have leftovers, pick the meat off the bones and use it for a quick meal later in the week, like chicken pot pie or chicken fried rice.
- Don’t forget to save the bones in the freezer to make broth!