Best Way to Cook Pastured Chicken Legs in the Oven
I'm personally a bit intimidated by grilling so I wanted to find a good recipe for baked chicken legs in the oven. I prefer to use the oven instead of the grill because I have more control over the temperature and cooking.
It's taken me quite a few attempts to perfect these baked chicken legs. I experimented with several different techniques, trying to figure out what would yield the best results with the least amount of effort. I've finally gotten the baking time and temperature nailed down and concluded that a simple coating of butter and seasoning, with optional BBQ sauce yielded the best texture and flavor.
This recipe is toddler approved!
Butter: The butter is optional but it definitely gives the skin a better texture if you use it.
Seasoning: I love using this seasoning that my husband created. However, any meat seasoning can be used.
BBQ sauce: This is optional. Obviously it will add flavor and a sweet sauce for your legs, but the skin will loose some of it's crispy-ness.
Temperature: I learned that although chicken is technically safe to eat at 165 degrees, dark meat will become more tender and juicy if cooked to 175-180 degrees.
Here are the legs ready to go in the oven.
Oven Baked Pastured Chicken Legs
- 1 package pastured chicken legs from the Goosemobile (4 legs)
- 1 T. melted butter (optional but the butter does give the skin a nicer texture than going without)
- Joshua's Meat Seasoning (recipe here) (or your favorite meat seasoning)
- BBQ sauce (optional)
Preheat oven to 425.
Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Place a baking rack in the pan.
Remove chicken from package and pat dry with paper towels.
Pull back the skin on the legs to expose the meat and sprinkle generously with seasoning. Pull the skin back over the leg and brush with melted butter and sprinkle generously with more seasoning.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and flip the chicken legs so that they cook evenly.
Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes more, or until they reach a minimum temperature of 175. (The minimum temperature for food safety is 165, but for tender and juicy dark meat, it's best cooked to 175-180.)