One of the best proteins values you are going to find at the grocery store is chicken leg quarters. Everybody goes nuts for the breasts and wings and that leaves a surplus of leg quarters that are usually pretty cheap.
It turns out that they are also delicious on the grill!
Let me show you how I grill chicken leg quarters on a Weber charcoal grill.
Prepare the Leg Quarters
Let’s start with some chicken quarters.
Let’s clean up the back side of these things.
See that big pocket of fat? See those organ segments and spinal fraction?
I don’t want to eat that and your guests don’t either.
Cut them out.
For the flavor profile we are going with the number one all time winner, Italian dressing.
Use whatever brand you like but always check the label.
You do NOT want a brand that has High Fructose Corn Syrup as the main ingredient.
We are going to be cooking this chicken hot and the corn syrup will scorch.
Place the chicken quarters into a Ziplock bag with the Italian dressing.
I slash the skin and meat of the quarters to make sure the marinade can penetrate deeply.
Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator overnight. If you don’t have time to marinate overnight then at least let it soak for an hour.
If Italian dressing isn’t your thing then check out this awesome Chili Lime Chicken Marinade from The Honour System. It is seriously packed with flavor and, since it doesn’t contain any sugar or sweeteners, will work great for grilling.
Prepare the Weber Grill
We are going to grill/smoke the quarters with a fully lit charcoal basket on one side of the grill and the chicken on the indirect side of the grill.
Use a charcoal chimney to light about 30 Kingsford briquettes. It will take about 20 minutes for the charcoal to light and fully ash over.
If you decide to use lighter fluid to get your coals lit then I wont tell anyone. Either way..when the coals are lit get them banked onto the left side of the grill.
Keep the bottom and top air vents completely open.
Grill the Quarters
Place the leg quarters on the right side of the grill such that they are close to, but not directly above, the charcoal and close the lid.
Let the chicken cook and flip it over every 20 minutes.
After about 40 minutes the quarters will be looking beautiful and will be close to done.
To put a little more crisp onto the skin you can grill each side briefly over direct heat.
A minute per side is plenty.
If you do sear the chicken off make sure to move it back to the indirect side to finish cooking.
The chicken quarters are done when they hit an internal temperature of 175-185F.
No sauce for this chicken…I like the straight up flavor and juiciness of the marinade.
Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters
- 2 lbs chicken leg quarters
- 16 ozs Italian dressing
- Trim the leg quarters of excess, fat, skin and bone as needed.
- Cut deep slashes into the leg quarters so the marinade can penetrate the meat.
- Marinade the quarters in Italian dressing for at least an hour and up to overnight.
- Grill the quarters with indirect high heat and flip every 20 minutes.
- If desired, crisp the skin directly over the charcoal for 1 minute per side.
- The quarters are done at an internal temperature of 175F.
Here are a few more ideas for grilled or smoked chicken!