This is a lovely recipe if you have some chicken leg quarters to use up, because it flavors them simply, using a little oil, salt and pepper, and then later using some BBQ sauce as a baste and some more as a warm sauce. The finished dish is garnished with some fresh herbs to add color, and the side dish possibilities for this are pretty much endless because what side dish does not go with chicken? You need very few ingredients to make this, and it is also quite difficult to get wrong, first because the recipe is so simple, and second because chicken leg quarters are juicy enough to overcook slightly without anyone noticing.
More about Chicken Leg Quarters
This cut of chicken differs from thighs, which are smaller, and breasts, which are leaner. A chicken leg quarter is the drumstick with the thigh on top, and one of these is sufficient for one person. They are also pretty economical in the store and you can usually get a pair of chicken leg quarters for about $3 which means you can make a wonderful meal without spending much at all. Chicken legs contain more fat than breasts, which is good when barbequing them because it means they are less likely to dry out and if you do accidentally give them a few extra minutes the difference will not be so apparent as if you overcook breasts (which you should never do unless you like dried-out stringy meat!)
Direct and Indirect Cooking
After browning the chicken over the flames, it is moved to a cooler part of the grill. If you were to leave it over the flames, the outside would burn before the inside was anywhere near done, which is why you need to use both direct and indirect heat for a perfect result. Bank the coals on one side of the barbeque for your direct grilling area, and the other side is going to be the indirect grilling area. You might like to wrap some vegetables or par-baked potatoes in foil and have those cooking on the indirect side, as your side dish.
Best BBQ Sauce for This Dish
Which BBQ sauce are you going to use for this? Although the recipe suggests you use something smoky, you will also be getting a smoky flavor because you are char-grilling, so if you would prefer something spicy or sweet instead of smoky, go for it. The sauce is going to be used for basting, and some is going to be warmed up on the stove to make extra sauce for the chicken, so just pick something you like or make your own if you have a BBQ sauce recipe you like.
If you prefer your chicken without a lot of sauce, or if people want to eat these with their fingers, then you can serve the warm sauce on the side so anyone who wants some can take what they want. Adding some fresh herbs to this as a garnish gives the dish a splash of color, because otherwise it would just be brown, so you might like to consider corn on the cob, sweet potato wedges or another colorful side dish to add more color and fresh flavors to the plate.
- 2 chicken leg quarters
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup smoky BBQ sauce
- Salt and black pepper, as needed
- Fresh herbs, for garnish
- Prepare the barbeque for a medium heat.
- If you are using a charcoal barbeque, mound the coals on one side.
- If you have a gas grill then just use the burners on one side.
- Brush olive oil over the chicken on both sides and add some salt and black pepper.
- Put the chicken directly over the heat for a couple of minutes to brown it, then move it to the cooler part of the grill.
- Cook the chicken leg quarters for about 30 minutes then brush some barbeque sauce over it.
- Keep cooking it, flipping occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the temperature inside is 170 degrees F.
- It is best to have the lid down for this, if your grill has a lid.
- Heat some more BBQ sauce (about ½ cup) in a small pan and then pour it over the finished chicken just before serving.
- Garnish it with fresh herbs if you like and serve right away.
Barbeque chicken leg quarters basted with BBQ sauce are rich-tasting, juicy and perfect for dinner. This is a great meal if the weather is nice, the sun is shining, and you want to eat outdoors. Any potatoes or vegetable side dishes can be cooked in foil on the barbeque alongside the chicken, so you don’t have to run back and forth from the kitchen. The photo shows how attractive this dish looks when presented on one platter and decorated with some fresh herb sprigs on top. This recipe is all about combining direct with indirect cooking, to yield a professional result.
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