These brick chicken leg quarters have crispy skin and juicy meat. They are so delicious but require only a handful of simple ingredients. You can make a restaurant-quality main dish chicken recipe in only 45 minutes of cooking time! My whole family loves this chicken quarters recipe.
What is Brick Chicken?
Several years ago I noticed during a trip to NYC that there was some sort of brick chicken on several restaurant menus. The dish is exactly as it sounds; the chicken is flattened by deboning part of it and then it's cooked under a brick. The skin is golden and crispy while the meat is tender and juicy. Some will grill it while others will roast it. I prefer the crisp skin you get when you roast it.
While many chefs will flatten a whole chicken by cutting out the breast bone and then cooking, but I decided I didn't want to test my butchering skills. I really don't like to even touch raw chicken but there are things I do just so my family can have a good meal (hear that husband?). So to make things easy, I bought a package of leg quarters and cooked the chicken in pieces. You can do this with breasts too if you prefer white meat.
Do I Have to Use a Brick?
I really didn't feel like going to The Home Depot to purchase bricks so a few substitutions were made. Instead of using bricks which are wrapped in foil, you can use a heavy pot filled with cans. This worked perfectly and I had everything I needed in my own kitchen. I rubbed the chicken with a simple Stubbs chicken rub and a little dried thyme. I kept things really simple.
- chicken leg quarters
- chicken rub or seasoning
- dried thyme
- olive oil
What are chicken quarters?
A quarter is a specific cut of chicken meat. There are two major kinds of quarters. The first is the leg quarter, which is made up of the thigh and the drumstick, as well as a small amount of the back. This quarter is all dark meat. My family likes dark meat so I make BBQ Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters too when the weather is nice and we want to cook outside.
Another variety is the breast quarter, which includes half a chicken breast, a wing, and part of the back. If you prefer white meat, you may want to go with this cut instead.
This presentation goes into more detail about the various cuts of chicken. You could use a number of these cuts with this recipe and it cooks much quicker than roasting a whole bird!
Seasoning for Chicken
You can really use any type of rub you like on this delicious chicken. Sometimes I also sprinkle the thigh-drumstick pieces with kosher salt , black pepper and garlic powder or onion powder. There are endless options in seasoning chicken but here are a few simple seasonings that are my favorite:
McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning
Lawry's Lemon Pepper Seasoning Blend
My Homemade Beef Seasoning (that I love on chicken too 🙂
- First preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel then season the chicken quarters. Make sure you season both sides. You can do this several hours before you cook the chicken pieces and keep it in the refrigerator.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet with olive oil and a dab of butter to medium high heat. A cast iron pan works well but I decided to use my heavy skillet.
- Place the chicken skin side down in the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Then stick a wide heavy pot on top. Add a few of your heaviest cans so the chicken gets pressed down. The skin gets nice and brown while the juices stay inside the meat.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook like this for about 20 minutes. Check to make sure the skin is crispy and brown. You can always cook it for a few extra minutes if you want it crispier.
- Next, flip the chicken over and cook for 5 more minutes. Place the pan in the oven to finish cooking.
- Roast in the oven for about 10 to 20 more minutes or until a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh.
For full instructions and ingredient amounts, see printable recipe card below. Once you make this recipe, you will want it for dinner again and again! I also love using leftover chicken to make Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup.
Suggested Side Dishes
I served this flavorful dish with roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts for a complete meal. I served this flavorful dish with roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts for a complete meal. You could also serve it with French fries or a salad. Here are some side dish recipes that go great with juicy chicken.
- Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes
- Braised Collard Greens with Turkey Bacon
- Roasted Cranberry Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fried Cauliflower
- Mexican Street Corn Salad via Grumpys Honeybunch
More Chicken Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- Simple Chicken Cacciatore
- Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
- Crispy Panko Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Mushroom Chicken Thighs with Rosemary
- Chicken Shawarma Sandwich
- Indian Butter Chicken via Swirls of Flavor
If you like this chicken leg quarters recipe, please give it a 5-star rating below!
- 3 to 4 chicken quarters
- 2 TBS chicken rub
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub chicken quarters with chicken rub and thyme.
- Heat a large heavy skillet on medium high heat. Add olive oil and butter to the pan. When oil and butter is sizzling, add chicken, skin side down.
- Place a large heavy pot on top of the chicken. Add heavy cans to the pot so the chicken is pressed down.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes or until skin of chicken is crispy and golden. Remove pot and flip chicken. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Place pan in oven and cook for additional 10 to 15 minutes or until meat thermometer placed in chicken registers 165 degrees.
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so good--love the can idea
This recipe looks easy and yummy-the best kind. I have not seen brick chicken on menus yet but maybe we are behind on this trend! Either way I am definitely going to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.
So delicious and so simple...I will be giving your recipe a try at home Lisa!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
The perfect weekend dinner - yum!
I've heard of this brick chicken business but can't say I've ever experienced it myself. I guess it's a good way to get a good sear on the whole chicken!
The chicken recipe looks delicious! If you ever have the need for a recipe tester. Please contact me!
If using bricks, do I still follow the directions the same as using tow pans with cans.
Hi Jackie. I have never done it that way so I'm not sure how it would work. But you can google it on the internet and I have seen that you should wrap the brick in foil. good luck!
I've never cooked chicken like this before, but the idea to use cans instead of bricks is so genius! Looks delicious 🙂
What herbs and spices do you use to make the chicken rub?
Here is one that I love....https://www.mccormick.com/grill-mates/flavors/seasoning-blends/grill-mates-montreal-chicken-seasoning. You can really use any type of seasoning you'd like though. I am going to add more seasoning suggestions in the post.
Thanks for reading! Lisa