Recipes for Chicken Thighs and Legs

This section containing recipes for chicken thighs and legs is special for a few reasons. I hope you will find it useful in your kitchen, especially if you have to feed a family every day. When I was a young wife, the whole chicken was one of the most economical proteins available costing from nineteen to twenty nine cents a pound. To prevent tiring of the same “old thing”, little books were printed with a hundred chicken recipes. Besides these booklets, everyone collected as many chicken recipes as possible.

Recipes for Chicken Thighs and LegsRecipes for Chicken Thighs and Legs

In my early days it was not important to collect recipes for chicken thighs and legs. I usually cooked the whole chicken by roasting or boiling. Often I would also cut the chicken into pieces for skillet frying or oven frying. I did not cook much of anything by deep frying. My children and husband always loved chicken and dumplings, chicken with noodles and my herb roasted chicken. Even though my husband started our marriage with a dislike for chicken he never complained after he started eating mine.

Times have really changed in our food culture since my early homemaker days. In our past decades I began to learn the importance of recipes for chicken thighs and legs. For many reasons people were convinced that the chicken breast was the only part of the chicken suitable for eating. Because of this the breast part of the chicken has become so very high in price. I cannot believe how expensive this part is! I actually think the darker meat is more moist and flavorful. It adds much more flavor to the broth when the chicken is cooked for dumplings and noodles.

If you have an interest in cooking recipes for chicken thighs and legs, start checking the prices. Compare the price per pound of these parts to the chicken breast. You will find you can cook the recipes for chicken thighs and legs for your family much cheaper than any other protein. I recently purchased forty pounds for $22.00 or fifty five cents a pound. My family and friends in other parts of the country also tell me of their great prices on these parts of the chicken.

When you start cooking recipes for chicken thighs and legs, you will notice that these pieces contain this darker more flavorful meat. By cooking with different ingredients and spices you can create many totally different meals. I use one quarter (A thigh and a leg) for each adult serving. If you have small children this section can be cut at the joint separating the leg from the thigh. When my children were very young they always loved just a leg so you might consider this an option for your family. Another point if you have children is that this moist meat is easier for “little ones” to eat.

Since there is such a huge difference in the price of different parts of the chicken, I have converted many old chicken recipes just for thighs and legs. Recipes for chicken thighs and legs can include flavors from every country, you can remove the chicken from the bones for use in dishes or you can simply make fried chicken. Give it a try and see how happy your family will be when spending a lot less on their main entree.

NOTE: Some pieces of chicken are larger and thicker than others. If you purchase ones which are extra large, you will need to cook them longer to make sure they are thoroughly done.


Grilled Italian Chicken PacketsGrilled Italian Chicken Packets

Recipes for chicken thighs and legs can be spiced up with Italian seasoning.

  • 4 Chicken quarters (thigh and leg portions)
  • Salt (Divided)
  • Pepper (Divided)
  • 4 Medium potatoes
  • 2 Medium zucchini
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • Paprika (optional)
  • 12 Large pitted ripe olives
  • ½ Cup tomato sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons oregano
  • ¼ Cup butter

Cut 4 pieces heavy duty foil (About 12X20 inches).

Cut potatoes lengthwise into ¼ inch slices; place on the foil.

Season with SALT and PEPPER.

Cut zucchini into ¼ inch slices; place on top of potato.

Season with SALT and PEPPER.

Season each chicken with ¼ TEASPOON salt and PEPPER.

Place chicken on top of the zucchini; sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika.

Top each with 3 olives, 2 tablespoons tomato sauce and ½ teaspoon oregano.

Dot each with 1 tablespoon of the butter; wrap packets securely in the foil.

Place packets on grill over medium coals; cook about 30 minutes.

Turn packets over and cook 30 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 4 generous servings.

NOTE: Can also be baked in the oven for 60 to 90 minutes at 350 F degrees.

Italian Chicken Ready to CookItalian Chicken Ready to Cook


Chicken Paprikash RecipeChicken Paprikash Recipe

Learn to make chicken thighs and legs in paprikash.

  • 4 Chicken quarters (Thigh and leg)
  • 1/3 Cup butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 Large sliced onion
  • 1 Green bell pepper (cut in strips)
  • Salt/ pepper to taste
  • ½ Cup sour cream
  • Cooked noodles

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat; stir in paprika.
Salt and pepper chicken pieces; brown in melted butter.
Turn heat down to low; add sliced onion and pepper on top of chicken.
Cover and cook for 1 hour until tender; remove chicken to a warm platter.
Stir sour cream into skillet drippings; add more seasoning if desired.
Serve sour cream sauce over cooked noodles; top with chicken.
Serves 4.


Grilled Dijon Terragon QuartersGrilled Dijon Terragon Quarters

Recipes for chicken thighs and legs are delicious on the grill with Dijon.

  • 4 Chicken quarters (Thigh and leg)
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 1/3 Cup Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons dried tarragon
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper

Combine olive oil and next 7 ingredients in a shallow dish.
Coat chicken with mixture; cover tightly and refrigerate 1 hour.
Place chicken on grill over medium high heat; cover with grill lid.
Grill about 20 minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked.

NOTE: Or can be baked in the oven at 375 F about 60 to 70 minutes until done.

NOTE: Remaining marinade can be boiled to serve over chicken. If it is too tart add a little honey.


Recipe for Garlic Chicken Thighs and LegsRecipe for Garlic Chicken Thighs and Legs

Recipes for chicken thighs and legs are delicious with lots of garlic.

  • 1 Bulb garlic (Peel and mince)
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/3 Cup white wine
  • 4 Chicken quarters (Thigh and leg)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Cups hot milk
  • 2 Tablespoons cream

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
Combine melted butter and garlic in large casserole baking dish.
Place chicken in baking dish; add wine and season with cayenne, salt and pepper.
Cover dish with foil; place in oven for 30 minutes; turn chicken over.
Return to oven uncovered until thoroughly cooked about 30 to 45 minutes.
Mix together cornstarch, milk and cream until smooth; set aside.
Pour drippings from baking dish into a saucepan; stir in cornstarch mixture.
Cook and stir over medium high heat until slightly thickened.
Serve with chicken; serves 4.


Szechwan Chicken RecipeSzechwan Chicken Recipe

Recipes for chicken thighs and legs are delicious with Szechwan peppercorns.

  • 4 Chicken quarters (Thigh and leg section)
  • 1 Teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns
  • ½ Cup Hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 4 Teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons water

Place chicken quarters in a large plastic zip lock bag.

Heat peppercorns in a small skillet over medium heat until hot.

Crush peppercorns in a pestle, with rolling pin or a meat mallet.

Place crushed peppercorns in glass cup or small bowl.

Add Hoisin sauce and remaining ingredients blending well.

Pour over chicken in bag; seal and refrigerate overnight.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Drain chicken reserving marinade; place in lightly oiled ovenproof skillet.

Over medium heat lightly brown chicken on both sides.

Place skillet in oven and add reserved marinade.

Bake until tender and thoroughly cooked (About 1 hour); 4 servings.


Basil Chicken and Dumplings RecipeBasil Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
Basil Chicken and Dumplings RecipeBasil Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Recipes for chicken thighs and legs make flavorful broth for dumplings.

  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 4 Chicken quarters
  • ½ Cup chopped onion
  • ¼ Cup chopped celery and leaves
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ¼ Cup chopped parsley
  • 1 Jar (4 ounces) chopped pimientos
  • About 6 cups water (Divided)
  • 4 Chicken bouillon cubes or 4 teaspoons chicken stock


  • 2 Cups biscuit mix
  • 1 Teaspoon dried basil
  • 2/3 Cup milk

Melt butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven; brown chicken on both sides.
Add the onion and next 7 ingredients; add 1 CUP of water.
Cover and simmer until chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked.
Remove chicken to a platter and keep warm.
Add 5 CUPS of water and bouillon cubes to the Dutch oven.
Bring liquid to a boil stirring to blend bouillon; stir in the pimientos.
Combine biscuit mix and dried basil; stir in the milk.
Drop dumplings by spoonfuls into boiling liquid; cook about 5 minutes.

Serve dumplings with the chicken (I served with steamed spinach).

Serves 4 to 6.


Tangy Lemon Chicken QuartersTangy Lemon Chicken Quarters

Cook recipes for chicken thighs and legs marinated in a tangy lemon sauce.

  • 2 Cups butter
  • 1 Bottle (5 Ounces) bottle horseradish
  • 8 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 8 Teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Teaspoons Tabasco
  • 1 Cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons capers
  • 4 Chicken quarters (Thigh and leg)

Combine butter and next 6 ingredients in saucepan over low heat.

Simmer for 30 minutes and cool.

Cover chicken with the sauce; refrigerate for 60 minutes.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Remove chicken from sauce and place in baking dish.

Bake chicken for 1 hour until tender and thoroughly cooked.

Place remaining marinade in a saucepan; stir in capers.

Bring to a simmer; spoon heated sauce over the baked chicken to serve.

Serves 4


Fried Chicken QuartersFried Chicken Quarters

Recipes for chicken thighs and legs include Southern fried with creamy gravy.

  • 4 Chicken quarters
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 2 Teaspoons paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ Cup of reserved seasoned flour
  • 1 Cup cream
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper

Place chicken pieces in a shallow casserole dish.
Pour buttermilk over the chicken coating all areas of chicken.
Marinate the chicken in buttermilk for 15 to 20 minutes.
Combine in a large bowl the flour, paprika, salt and pepper; set aside.
Pour ½ inch oil in a large cast iron skillet; heat over medium high.
Dredge chicken pieces in the seasoned flour; place in skillet.
NOTE: Reserve seasoned flour.
REDUCE HEAT under skillet to medium; cover and fry about 15 to 20 minutes.
Turn chicken over; cook uncovered about 15 to 20 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
Drain chicken on paper towels; keep warm.
FOR GRAVY drain oil from skillet leaving 2 tablespoons; add butter over medium.
Stir in ¼ cup of seasoned flour until browned 2 to 3 minutes; stir in cream and milk.
Stir while slowly bringing mixture just to a boil; REDUCE HEAT to medium low.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes; stir in parsley, salt and pepper.
Serve gravy with chicken; mashed potatoes good also.
Serves 4.


Spicy Chicken QuartersSpicy Chicken Quarters

Recipes for chicken thighs and legs can also be made like the spicy Buffalo wings.

  • 4 Chicken quarters
  • ¾ Cup butter
  • ½ Cup Tabasco sauce (Or other hot sauce)
  • 1 Envelope (1 Ounces) dry onion soup mix
  • 2 Teaspoons ground red pepper

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
Lightly oil broiler rack; place chicken on rack and set aside.
Melt butter in small saucepan; add hot sauce, soup mix and red pepper.
Brush mixture over the chicken pieces; bake for 30 minutes.
Turn chicken over and brush with remaining butter mixture.
Bake about 15 minutes longer until tender and thoroughly cooked.
Serves 4.


Chicken Cassoulet RecipeChicken Cassoulet Recipe
Chicken Cassoulet Recipe in a Baking DishChicken Cassoulet Recipe in a Baking Dish

Recipes for chicken thighs and legs include many dishes like this French cassoulet.

  • 1 Pound sausage
  • 1 Medium chopped onion
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Can (24 Ounces) tomatoes
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Pinch thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon basil
  • ¼ Teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 Cans (15 Ounces) Great Northern beans (Drained)
  • 4 Chicken quarters (Thighs and legs)
  • 2 Teaspoons beef concentrate
  • 1 ½ Cups hot chicken stock
  • ¼ Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ Cups dry bread crumbs
  • ¼ Cup olive oil

Shape sausage into small balls; fry in skillet until cooked.
Remove balls from skillet; drain off fat reserving 1 tablespoon in skillet.
Brown onion and garlic in skillet; add tomatoes and next 7 ingredients.
Cook mixture over medium heat until almost dry about 20 minutes.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 325F degrees.
Place a layer (Half) of beans in a large buttered casserole baking dish.
Top beans with the sausage balls; top sausage with the chicken quarters.
Top chicken with the tomatoes and then the last half of beans on top.
In a bowl combine the beef concentrate with a little chicken stock.
Add the vinegar to the mix and pour over the casserole.
Add enough of remaining chicken stock to come to top layer.
Thickly cover with the crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake uncovered for 1 ½ hours (Cook until liquid is absorbed but not dry).
Sprinkle with parsley before serving; serves 4 to 6.


Maple Flavored Chicken QuartersMaple Flavored Chicken Quarters

Learn how to cook recipes for chicken thighs and legs with the great maple flavor.

  • 4 Chicken quarters (Thighs and legs)
  • 1 Large onion (Thinly sliced)
  • 1  1/3 Cups orange juice
  • 3 Cloves minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger root
  • ½ Cup maple syrup

Pierce chicken pieces all over with fork or sharp object.

Place chicken in a shallow casserole dish; place onion on top.

Combine orange juice, garlic, salt, pepper, ginger and maple syrup.

Pour maple mixture over the onion slices; cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.


Remove chicken and onion from marinade; place chicken on grill or under broiler.

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes; turn over and brush with maple marinade.

Cook 15 to 20 minutes longer or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Cook sliced onion the last 5 minutes with the chicken.

NOTE: Chicken is done when juices run clear (Not bloody) when pierced with a fork.

Serves 4 to 6.