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Lemon-Garlic Braised Chicken Legs is a recipe that brings together tender chicken, zesty lemon, and the aromatic allure of garlic to create a hearty and comforting dish that is ideal for both casual dinners or special occassions. This recipe promises a mouth-watering experience with every bite!

Braised chicken leg quarters with lemon and garlic in a dutch oven.
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The slow and gentle cooking process of this braised chicken recipe ensures that each bite is a juicy and tender sensation that melts in your mouth. With every forkful, you’ll savor the incredible depth of flavors that only braised chicken with lemon and garlic can deliver. If you love lemon and garlic, try my Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp and Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers.

Why l Love This Braised Chicken Recipe

  • It’s flavorful and tender. Braising chicken quarters results in incredibly flavorful and tender meat. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to develop and the meat to become moist and juicy.
  • It’s budget-friendly. Chicken quarters, which consist of the leg and thigh, are typically more affordable compared to other chicken cuts. Braising them allows you to create a delicious and satisfying meal without breaking the bank.
  • Ease of Preparation: With straightforward steps, it’s a go-to recipe for both beginners and experienced cooks.
  • Versatility: This dish can be paired with a variety of sides, making it perfect for any meal.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken: Use chicken leg quarters. You can substitute other chicken cuts but will need to adjust the cooking times accordingly. 
  • Seasonings:  Combine garlic powder, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil: Or use your favorite light, neutral-flavored oil for searing the chicken. 
  • Butter: Using unsalted butter allows you to better control the dishes’ saltiness. 
  • Shallot: Chopped shallot adds a mild onion flavor that wont overwhelm the flavor of the chicken. 
  • Chicken Broth: Use low sodium chicken broth as the braising liquid. 
  • Lemon: slices of lemon add a lovely citrus flavor. 
  • Garlic: Use 10-15 garlic cloves. Braising mellows the flavor so it’s not overwhelming. 
  • Fresh Thyme: Fresh thyme adds a nice herby flavor. 
Ingredients needed for braised chicken quarters

How To Make Braised Chicken

Step 1: Prepare the equipment. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Step 2: Season the chicken. Clean and pat dry the chicken leg quarters with a kitchen towel. Season the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Step 3: Sear the chicken. Heat an oven-proof skillet on a medium flame, add olive oil, and once the oil is heated sear the chicken leg quarters on both sides for 5-6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.

braised chicken legs in a skillet.

Step 4: Cook the shallots. To the same skillet add butter, once the butter is melted add the chopped shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Preparing the braising liquid for chicken quarters with lemon.

Step 5: Braise the chicken. Stir in the chicken broth and check for seasonings and allow the chicken broth to simmer for a couple of minutes. Transfer the chicken back to the skillet and arrange the garlic cloves, lemon slices, fresh thyme over and bake the chicken for 20 – 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

braised chicken legs in a skillet with aromatics.

Step 6: Serve. Once done, serve the chicken over mashed potatoes and greens to enjoy.  

Tips for Best Results

  • Opt for bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces such as leg quarters, thighs or drumsticks.
  • Before braising, sear the chicken pieces in a hot skillet with a little oil. This step adds depth of flavor and enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Simmer gently; do not let it boil vigorously to maintain tenderness.
  • Use fresh lemon slices rather than adding lemon juice. The whole lemon imparts flavor. 
  • Depending on the size and type of chicken pieces, braising can take around 40 minutes to 1 hour. The chicken should become tender and easily pull away from the bone when done.
A spoon bastes braised chicken quarters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does braising mean?

Braising is a cooking method that involves searing meat or vegetables at a high temperature and then simmering them slowly in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid. This method helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, braised chicken legs can be prepared in advance and reheated for convenience.

Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of leg quarters?

Yes, you can, but bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs provide extra flavor and moisture.

Is it necessary to brown the chicken before braising?

Browning the chicken is recommended as it adds depth to the flavor.

Storing and Reheating

Storing: Store any leftover chicken in an air tight container for upto 3-4 days.

Reheating: The fastest way to reheat this recipe is on low heat on your stove top until warmed through. You can also warm it in a preheated 325 F oven, covered with alluminum foil wrap until warmed through.

Freezing: You can freeze braised chicken quarters in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge then reheat on the stovetop or in the oven until warmed through.

What to Serve with Braised Chicken Quarters?

This dish goes really well with a variety of side dishes including Parmesan Roasted Glazed Carrots, Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or a Salad of your choice.

Alternative Cooking Methods

If you don’t have an oven, you can braise the chicken on the stovetop by lowering the heat to a gentle simmer and covering the pot.

Alternatively, you can use a slow cooker for an even more hands-off approach.

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Season the chicken legs with salt, pepper, and any other mentioned spices.
  2. Brown the Chicken: In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken legs and cook until each side is golden brown. This step is optional but helps to develop a deeper flavor.
  3. Prepare the Vegetables: In the slow cooker, place the sliced shallots, and garlic. You can also add other vegetables for added flavor.
  4. Add Chicken to Slow Cooker: Place the browned chicken legs on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  5. Add Liquids: Pour in the chicken broth. The liquid should come up about halfway to the chicken, not covering it completely.
  6. Add Herbs: Toss in a few sprigs of fresh herbs you prefer.
  7. Cook: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. The chicken is done when it is tender and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).

More Chicken Recipes

Braised Chicken Legs recipe offers a comforting and flavorful meal that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s easily adaptable and simple to prepar. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or your favorite side.

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5 from 1 vote

Braised Chicken Legs

Tender & juicy braised chicken quarters, flavored with zesty lemon & garlic, ideal for casual dinners or special occasions.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 4 whole chicken leg quarters, with skin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 medium lemon, sliced
  • 10-15 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Clean and pat dry the chicken leg quarters with a kitchen towel and set them aside.
  • Season the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Heat an oven-proof skillet on a medium flame, add olive oil, and once the oil is heated sear the chicken leg quarters on both sides for 5-6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.
  • To the same skillet add butter, once the butter is melted add the chopped shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken broth and check for seasonings and allow the chicken broth to simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken back to the skillet and arrange the garlic cloves, lemon slices, fresh thyme over and bake the chicken for 20 – 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Once done, serve the chicken over mashed potatoes and greens to enjoy.

Notes

  • Opt for bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces such as leg quarters, thighs or drumsticks.
  • Before braising, sear the chicken pieces in a hot skillet with a little oil. This step adds depth of flavor and enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Simmer gently; do not let it boil vigorously to maintain tenderness.
  • Use fresh lemon slices rather than adding lemon juice. The whole lemon imparts flavor. 

Nutrition

Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 447mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg
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