What we do with 10 pounds of chicken leg quarters

On occasion, a local grocery store will have a sale on chicken leg quarters. For 29 or 39 cents per pound, I can get a 10-pound bag for $3-4. Here is what I make with a 10-pound bag of chicken leg quarters! (Our family has two adults and a two-year-old.)

Cut chicken drumstick

First, I cut apart the drumsticks and thighs.* To cut apart leg quarters, use a sharp knife and carefully cut the skin and meat around the joint. As you get closer to the bone, wiggle knife back and forth and cut the tendons and cartilage near the joint until drumstick is separated from thigh, without cutting through bone. The photo above shows a drumstick that has been cut through the cartilage.

I rinse the chicken pieces, and usually use the drumsticks for My Mom's Easy Fried Chicken. The fried drumsticks are one of Joshua's favorite meals, and there is usually enough drumsticks for 2-3 meals. (I never buy the packages of just drumsticks, because whole chickens from Aldi, or leg quarters on sale are so much cheaper.)

Chicken drumsticks

Here are the drumsticks... before frying, and then on our plate, ready to eat!

My Mom's Easy Fried Chicken recipe

And here are the chicken thighs, put into my largest stock pot. I add water to cover and bring them to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, I turn down the heat and simmer until fully cooked.

Cut chicken thighs

I take the fully-cooked thighs from the water (now broth) and put them on a plate to cool slightly. When the thighs are cool enough to handle, I take the meat off the bones, discarding the fat, bones, and skin.

I cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Usually I save some meat out for use during the next couple of days, to make things like hot chicken sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, or cheesy chicken vermicelli.

Whatever meat I won't be able to use within 4-5 days, I package into freezer bags (or containers) in 2 to 3-cup portions. I label the bags with the date, content, and amount. Then when I need some cooked cubed chicken for a recipe, I can just thaw a package! For a list of recipes on this website that use "leftover" cooked cubed chicken, visit my leftovers page!

With the broth (from cooking the thighs) I sometimes make a large batch of cream of chicken condensed soup. I freeze my homemade cream of chicken soup in 1 to 2-cup amounts, and thaw as needed for recipes.

Another favorite use for chicken broth is to make homemade yellow rice. The rice has a wonderful flavor, and leftover yellow rice can be used to make chicken fried rice.

For more ideas about using chicken and preparing it in advance, check out my article Cooking Ahead: A Basic How-To!

*I always cut them apart unless I wish to use some for baked chicken leg quarters. For our baked leg quarters, I rinse the chicken pieces, sprinkle both sides with seasonings (garlic salt, lemon pepper, and seasoned salt) and spray lightly with cooking oil. I set the leg quarters on a wire rack or "grill" and put a cookie sheet under it to catch drips (use an old cookie sheet for this!). Bake at 375 degrees until fully cooked.


Thanks for your help. When I brought the 10 lbs home all I thought was what am I going to do with all this chicken!! But your right it is a really great deal for $4.00. Thanks again :)

i normally oil the top of a whole piece use alot of onion powder and bake for 1hr and 30 mins

Glad I found this post and site, as I had no idea what to do with the chicken leg quarters.

Since trying to separate the pieces totally grossed me out, I decided to bake them per your "recipe." Might you have taken the time to include measurements of the ingredients so we will know how much to use? Using both garlic salt and seasoned salt, there is a real risk of oversalting.

ummm so what do you use for you batter and how long does this recipe take to make ?

I think you're missing big possibility with the bones. I do similar with my bulk cicken. I'll buy 10 to 20 pounds when chicken is on sale and put all of it into my big electric roaster and slow roast it over night. The next morning, I have a lot of cooked chicken that I remove the skin and bone. Skin gets thrown away, and bone goes back into th broth along ith some onion, carrot and celery, and some spices. Its usually sage, marjoram, basil and little savory. Of coruse, this varies on my mood. Then, while I'm dealing with the cooked meat, I'm simmering all the rest together to get a more flavorful stock, A few hours later, I remove bones and veggies from the stock and strain it through cheesecloth to get the bits of dried herbs out. Stock goes in the fridge over night, and he next morning, I can easily remove te hardened fat/grease. Once that's done, I set it on the stove to simmerand reduce to allow the flavors to intensify. a higher concentation of chick flavor is the best result of this step. When it reaches what I'm looking for in flavor, it then gets pressure canned and put up on the pantry shelf. IT's a little more work, but the time it takes is so worth it later.

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