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One thing I love and will never give up (no matter how many gadgets I get) is my cast iron pans. Did I say never? Ok, we are clear. It can be intimidating to some, but it is my favorite go to when doing chicken leg quarters in a skillet. I had written a post on my love of cast iron pans – Why I Love My Cast Iron Pans. Just in case you needed some convincing to try these amazing classic pieces of cookware.
This is an easy two step recipe that you fry the leg quarters and then bake but no worries, you are using the same pan for it all. I use my 12 inch cast iron pan because I never went out and upgraded to the bigger pan yet (it is the only time I usually need it so I haven’t gotten to that point of convincing myself yet.) I would highly recommend you use a bigger size if you have it.
There is a printable recipe at the bottom as well.
As a Note
I have a gas stove and I am at a lower altitude then many people. My oven has a convection setting to roast and bake along with regular. I used the convection with the fan but you can use the regular oven as well (I have used the oven both ways making these.)
Coconut oil has a lower smoke point so I keep the temperature of the oven at 375 and frying doesn’t get higher then medium. When I add spices for the dry rub, I add each spice directly to the chicken (it is a habit that I have never got out of.) I will give you an idea of how much of each spice to mix together and put it on as a dry rub. You may not need it all tho, season to what you think would be reasonable.
On to the juicy details…
Prepping the Leg Quarters
I use a package of 4 leg quarters for this. Make sure to take the extra fat clump off that is usually on the bottom of the thigh. I add the spices one at a time and rub them in but making a mix will do the same thing. You will add the spices: cumin, parsley, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper onto each leg quarter. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 375.
While it is sitting out, cut up 3 cloves of garlic.
Getting the Cast Iron Pan Ready and Adding the Leg Quarters
I don’t preheat my pan before adding the fat (whichever cooking fat/oil/butter) you are going to use. Put in the coconut oil – about 2 tablespoons and turn the burner on to medium – medium high. This depends on your stove and you will know it better then I.
As soon as the coconut oil is liquid, add in 1 tablespoon of dried minced onion and your chopped up garlic. Stir it and immediately put the chicken in the pan skin side down.
As I mentioned above, I really should upgrade to the next size pan. These chicken leg quarters barely fit in my cast iron pan. It is ok, it works and they cook down a little bit.
You want to sear the leg quarters a little bit to get a crispy skin. I cook them skin side down first for about 7 minutes. Then flip them over carefully so the skin is up. It is important that the skin side is up when it goes in the oven so it gets crispy.
Cook the chicken leg quarters for about 6 minutes with the skin up and then turn off the burner. Let it sit for 1 minute (I don’t like it sizzling on it’s way in the oven and this gives the oil a minute to stop sizzling.) The cast iron pan will hold most of the heat for that minute so it won’t cool your food down. Put it in the oven now and bake for about 35-40 minutes. You will have amazing chicken legs that are rather easy in one cast iron skillet!
Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Leg Quarters
- 4 leg quarters
- 2 tbsp coconut oil virgin unrefined
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375Mix together your dry rub ingredients: parsley, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Rub the spice mix on the leg quarters and let them sit out for about 10 minutes. Chop your garlic while the chicken sits out.
- Add coconut oil to the cast iron pan. You should use 12 inch or bigger for these to fit. Turn burner on to medium heat. As soon as the coconut oil is liquid, stir in the dried minced onion and garlic. Immediately put the leg quarters in skin side down,
- Sear the chicken skin side down for 7 minutes and carefully flip them over so the skin is facing up. Cook for another 6 minutes then turn off burner and let stand for 1 minute before putting in oven.
- Put in the oven on center rack and bake for 35-40 minutes or when the temperature of the thickest part reaches 165.