Roasted Chicken Quarters
Roasted Chicken Quarters with maple syrup and roasted vegetables baked in the same pan is easy yet packed full with flavor. Use chicken legs, thighs, or quarters for a hearty and comforting chicken for two.
For the longest time when someone asked what my favorite food was, I didn’t have an answer.
Sure, I love some foods more than others, but nothing stood out as number one.
Then I started thinking about what I would eat as my last supper and still didn’t have an answer.
It wasn’t until I was eating Roasted Chicken Quarters with maple syrup for the third time in one month when I finally realized what my last supper would be – crispy chicken skin with roasted vegetables underneath.
I’ve always jokingly said that someone should just serve up a plate of crispy chicken skin at a restaurant for my entree.
The chicken meat itself must be dark meat; I don’t like eating roasted chicken breast. Even though I use chicken quarters in this recipe, I’ve also used chicken legs and thighs as well.
The roasted vegetables underneath – carrot, potato, onion, and garlic – tie everything together with a built-in side dish for a fulfilling dinner for two.
No need to dirty a second roasting pan!
Don’t let the simple roasted root vegetables underneath fool you because they’re anything but ordinary.
Between the maple syrup and the chicken juices, the vegetables are packed with so much flavor, I like them even better than the meat, especially the roasted garlic.
What would you eat for your last supper?
Ingredients For Roasted Chicken Quarters
To make your chicken quarters recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Olive oil: Used to brown and crisp up the chicken skin
- Chicken quarters: Use one leg quarter per person
- Carrots: Peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- Potato: I use Russet but can also use red or gold
- Onion: Cut into larger slices so they don’t burn quickly
- Garlic: Leave them unpeeled as it helps keep them from burning
- Kosher salt: I know most households use regular table salt, but kosher salt is coarser and makes a big difference when cooking. If you’re only using table salt, you may not need as much as directed.
- Maple syrup: Adds a sweet and savory touch plus helps caramelize the skin
- Thyme: Adds a bit of freshness. Can experiment with other herbs or leave it out altogether. If you grow your own thyme, here’s a guide on harvesting thyme from Platter Talk.
What is a quarter chicken?
A chicken quarter refers to the leg and thigh being attached as one piece. My original plan was to use chicken thighs, but the butcher didn’t have any separated.
Instead I bought two fat chicken quarters, which is pretty much equivalent to four small chicken thighs.
Typically for serving sizes, I do one large chicken quarter or two chicken thighs per person.
You can also make maple roasted chicken using chicken breast. However, I’m not a fan of light meat so I stick with thighs and legs.
As long as you know your preference between dark and light meat, you can customize it to your liking.
What is the difference between roasting and baking a chicken?
Roasting and baking may seem like one and the same. Put the chicken quarters in the oven and let it cook. However, there is a difference between the two cooking methods.
Roasting is used to create a crispy, golden brown skin on the chicken. Sometimes the meat is basted for long cooking times, but you don’t need to baste chicken quarters since the cook time is relatively short.
This process requires a higher temperature of 400F (200C) or higher. Anything below 400F/200C is considered baking, not roasting.
You also need to roast your chicken uncovered. If you cover the chicken with foil, moisture is trapped and steams the food, resulting in flabby chicken skin.
How To Roast Chicken Leg Quarters
Before you start your recipe for chicken quarters, make sure you prep the chicken quarters properly. Pat them completely dry then rub both sides with salt.
Next, heat your oil in a large skillet until hot. It’s important to not rush this because if your oil isn’t hot, your chicken skin won’t brown and crisp up properly.
Add your chicken skin side down, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. If your skillet isn’t large enough, you may need to brown in batches.
Overcrowding the pan will result in steaming your skin rather than frying it, so make sure you give your chicken pieces room to fry.
While your chicken is cooking, add your carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic to a large bowl then toss with oil and salt. Spread evenly into the bottom of the baking pan.
Once the skin is golden brown, flip the chicken and cook the other side until brown. Then transfer your chicken to rest on top of the vegetables, brush with maple syrup, then roast until done.
How long do you bake chicken leg quarters?
Baking time depends on how large the roasted chicken quarters are. Typically you roast chicken quarters for about 40-45 minutes.
The important thing is to cook the chicken to an internal temperature of at least 165F (74C) with clear juices running out when poked.
If the chicken is done before the vegetables, remove the chicken from the pan and let the vegetables roast another 5-10 minutes or until done.
More Roasted Chicken Recipes
Looking for more roasted chicken for your dinner rotation? Add these easy recipes to your menu planning:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large chicken quarters or 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry and rubbed with kosher salt to taste
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large Russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small yellow or white onion, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Have a small casserole dish or an 8x8 pan ready.
- In a large 12 inch skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Once hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and brown for 5 minutes. Flip and brown the other side for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl add the carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and salt. Spread evenly into the bottom of the baking pan.
- Once the chicken has finished browning, transfer chicken to sit on top of the vegetables, skin side up. Brush evenly with maple syrup and sprinkle with thyme.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F/74C. If the chicken is done before the vegetables, remove the chicken and cook the vegetables another 5-10 minutes or until softened.