Chicken leg quarters are marinated and roasted in balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and honey for deliciously moist chicken that makes its own sauce as it bakes. Serve the chicken and sauce with rice and broccoli or green beans for a quick and affordable dinner.
- 2–3 pounds chicken leg quarters with skin (about 3 to 4 leg quarters)
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 TBSP honey
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth (optional, see notes)
- 1 TBSP corn starch (optional, see notes)
- Minced garlic (optional, see notes)
- Crushed red pepper (optional, see notes)
- Minced ginger (optional, see notes)
- Mirin rice wine (optional, see notes)
- Add balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and honey to a small dish. Stir gently to combine.
- Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 glass casserole or roasting pan with olive oil or unflavored cooking oil spray.
- Pat chicken quarters dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Arrange the chicken pieces skin-side up in a 9×13 inch oven-safe baking dish.
- Pour marinade over each piece of chicken then turn the pieces several times to make sure they are evenly coated. Leave the pieces to marinate with the skin side facing down.
- Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. For a stronger flavor, the chicken can be left in the marinade from 1 hour to overnight. (I recommend trying the recipe with a shorter marinade time and working up to the fuller flavor of the overnight marinade.)
- Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and turn chicken leg quarters so the skin is facing up. The marinade should remain at the bottom of the dish. Add 1/3 of a cup of water to the bottom of the pan to prevent the marinade from reducing too quickly.
- Place the dish in the middle of the oven then roast the chicken quarters for 30. Remove pan from oven and careful baste chicken with the marinade in the bottom of the pan.
- Return chicken to the oven for 10-15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 170 F / 77 C and the juices run clear. If the chicken is not hot enough continue baking for 10-minute increments until it reaches 170 F / 77 C.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, and place leg quarters on a serving dish to rest for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce while the chicken rests: pour the pan juices from the bottom of the roasting pan into a small saucepan and heat over medium until boiling, allow to reduce until slightly thickened about 3 minutes.
- Serve the chicken with rice, oven-roasted broccoli or green beans, and reduction sauce.
- Customize the flavor of the chicken by adding garlic, ginger, or crushed red pepper:
- Add 2 minced garlic cloves (about 1 tsp) to the marinade in step 1 to make garlic chicken quarters.
- Add ½ – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper to the marinade in step 1 make spicy chicken quarters.
- Add 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine), ½ tsp minced ginger, and 1 tsp minced garlic to the marinade in step 1 to make balsamic teriyaki chicken quarters.
- You may strain the mixture through a sieve before boiling to remove any lumps (this process is purely for better visual presentation of the reduction and does not affect the taste in any way).
- For a thicker sauce stir together ½ cup chicken broth or water and 1 tbsp cornstarch in a small cup until there are no lumps. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir as you heat the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes until the mixture thickens, stirring often.
- Serving Size: 1 piece of chicken
- Calories: 405
Keywords: Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters