What Is A Chicken Leg Quarter + Recipes To Try

The dark meat combo is a delicious reason to make chicken dishes.

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When you break down a whole chicken, the chicken breast is one of the major cuts you will make. The other primal cut you will make includes the chicken leg quarter which can be broken down further into the chicken leg and the chicken thigh parts.  

If you want to mimic the size of the chicken breast, the chicken leg quarter is the cut to get if you are a fan of dark meat. While the chicken breast may be a favorite, there are also those who prefer the less meaty and smaller cuts from the chicken such as the chicken legs and thighs. 

If you do choose this cut, know that this chicken cut is not cheap. While it's not the most expensive cut either, the chicken leg quarter is still pricer than if you bought and use a whole chicken in your recipes. However, feel free to be stubborn since this is nonetheless a great cut to choose for any chicken recipe that you may want to try.

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This cut is a versatile one that can be filleted just like chicken breasts. Unlike chicken breasts, the chicken leg and thigh are more resistant to drying out as it is cooked. Since both are considered dark meat, these two chicken cuts are fantastic when fried, grilled, and roasted in the oven since the fat content will ensure it stays moist even with a little overcooking on your part. 

The other good news about using the chicken leg quarter is that it's more flavorful than the chicken breast. The mantra in many professional kitchens is "Fat is flavor" and there's a good reason behind this belief. Fat is more flavorful than water and this is because many flavors dissolve in oil better than in water. That means oil and fat are the reasons why chicken thighs and legs taste more like chicken than the more neutral-tasting chicken breast. 

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If you're a fan of dark meat, the chicken leg quarters should be your choice cuts in terms of size and flavor. (Wings are tiny and since there are only two per chicken, it takes more chicken wings to match the meatiness of the thigh and leg combo).

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Here are chicken and leg quarter recipes to try when you are feeling like having chicken today: 

Photo by David Hanson

1 Chicken Barbecue and Java Rice Recipe

The classic chicken barbecue is a great chicken leg quarter recipe! Since using the grill is a dry heat cooking method, using dark meat is a smart way of ensuring that the chicken will be cooked through without drying out the meat. Plus, since it's a fatty cut, the flavors from the marinade will also boost the flavor of the chicken meal you'll have. You may want to make extra java rice when you make this chicken barbecue recipe! 

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Photo by Roselle Miranda

2 Chicken Bulgogi Recipe 

Speaking of barbecue, the Korean version of that country's barbecue is the bulgogi. This easy recipe is a delicious combination of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. While this recipe uses the breast, there's no reason why you cannot make the switch to the chicken thigh and leg fillets! Serve this easy chicken bulgogi recipe with steamed rice and sesame kang kong.

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Photo by Patrick Martires

3 Roast Tamarind Chicken Recipe 

Did you know that you can cook a super tasty chicken recipe using only 5 ingredients? This recipe is a delicious mix of sour, savory, and tangy. That's what the lemongrass, soy sauce, garlic, and the sinigang sa sampaloc mix do to the chicken when it's marinated in that mix. 

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That's not all. The chicken is then roasted until tender on the inside and the chicken skin is a burnished golden brown with charred spots here and there from the oven or turbo broiler. You won't need any dipping sauce for this chicken meal!

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Photo by Mark Jesalva

4 Kapampangan Chicken Asado Recipe

An asado is commonly associated with the Chinese siopao. However, not all asado dishes are steamed bun stuffed with a sweet-savory meat filling. There are asado recipes that are cooked in a sweet tomato sauce. Then, there is the other version that omits the tomatoes and uses other ingredients such as spices and condiments to make it uniquely delicious.

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For this regional recipe, fresh tomatoes, not tomato paste, are sautéed and then simmered into a thick sauce. The chicken leg quarter benefits from this braising cooking method since it can handle the longer cooking time it will take for the tomatoes to break down. 

Are you a fan of the chicken leg quarter, too? Here are more reasons to use the chicken cut and more recipes to try using it: 

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