Monday, September 29, 2014

Oven Barbequed Chicken Legs

Oven roasted chicken covered in tangy barbeque sauce. A quick and easy main course that is ready in 30 minutes!

I hesitated to post this recipe because of it's overly simple nature. But then, I think of how some of the simple, good recipes are hard to come by. It's so easy to fill my recipe box with dinner ideas that take one, two, or even three hours to prepare. That time frame isn't possible for a busy weeknight--I have to have a good repertoire of easy, go-to meals.

So today I am sharing with you oven barbeque chicken. You can follow the same recipe and cook the chicken on a barbeque grill if you wish. I prefer the oven because I think it's more time consuming to prepare our grill (we have a charcoal grill) so I opt to do my "barbequing" inside.

Chicken legs are one of my favorite cuts of the chicken and they are relatively inexpensive. So I think they make a great low-budget and fast meal. Growing up, my favorite meals my mom prepared was her homemade fried chicken. My mom would cut a whole chicken, fry it and serve it with mashed potatoes and gravy. We are a family of five, so that meant we ate every piece of chicken and sometimes we didn't get a choice of what cut we got. My brothers and I often fought over the legs--our favorite piece out of them all. Since there were three of us, and only two legs, that meant someone would miss out. Mom would often make us take turns on who got the leg. If you missed out that time, you would get a leg the next time she fixed fried chicken. As we got older (and...ate more) she would generally buy an extra package of chicken legs and fix them. Everyone got a leg (or two) and was happy. I guess I've always preferred the leg because dark meat is more tender and flavorful. I tend to fix a lot of boneless, skinless chicken breasts out of convenience and simplicity, but I think the dark meat is the best cut.

This recipe takes very little prep work. While the oven is heating up, clean up the chicken legs as needed--you can leave the skin on or remove it. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper (season under the skin as well) and arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet (the foil makes for easy clean up). Always allow meat to sit for at least 5-10 minutes after salting because it allows the salt to absorb into the meat and tenderize and season it. Once the oven is to temperature, pop the chicken in the oven onto the middle rack and allow the chicken to cook until it's almost cooked through. Remove the chicken about five minutes away from done time. Brush on your favorite barbeque sauce and return it to the oven. Be generous with the sauce--it will bake and caramelize so you need a good amount. Serve with extra barbeque sauce if desired.

And there you have it, easy barbeque chicken in under thirty minutes!

Oven Barbeque Chicken Legs

  • 2 lbs, skin-on chicken legs
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt*
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2-1/3 cup barbeque sauce, store bought or homemade

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil, set aside. Remove chicken legs from package and trim away any excess fat or skin. Remove skin if desired or leave intact. Lightly season with salt and pepper--if leaving the skin on, carefully peel the skin back, season with salt and pepper and then lay the skin back in place. Arrange legs on baking sheet, spacing two inches apart.

2. Bake chicken legs for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush chicken with barbeque sauce using a pastry brush. About one heaping tablespoon per leg. Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is done. To test chicken with a kitchen thermometer. Insert thermometer into chicken leg as close to the bone as possible without touching the bone. Fully cooked chicken should register 165 degrees. Serve chicken with additional barbeque sauce, if desired.

*Measurements for salt and pepper are approximate. I always grab a little using my fingers and lightly and evenly sprinkle over the meat. It really doesn't take much to season well. However, I am a low salt cook, so if you feel it needs more, add more. Just keep in mind that the barbeque sauce will add some seasoning as well.

Yields: 4-5 Servings (two chicken legs a piece)


  1. I am always looking for more chicken recipes! This looks so good!

  2. My kids always want the chicken legs. They'd love this easy recipe.

  3. So easy and delicious! Just made barbecue wings, but legs would be even better!

  4. I remember the years of not enough chicken legs. Your BBQ chicken looks delicious!

  5. I may have to try this tonight!! Sounds so easy and delicious! :)