Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters with Brandy Butter Sauce

Roasted Chicken Leg Quarter with Brandy Butter

Cross country skiing is my sport of choice during the winter months.  You’re probably wondering what this has to do with roasted chicken leg quarters.

Skiing in the Cascades

There is a story here.  I promise.  After a day of skiing, Ranger Craig and I are usually famished.  So on the way home, we stop at our local Brewhouse for a pint and some fish tacos.  Mmmm… sounds good doesn’t it?

My Mountain Man

I could go home and prepare the fish tacos and pull a pint out of the frig.  But Ranger Craig and I tried that once.  By the time the tacos were done, we had snacked on everything in the pantry and then we weren’t hungry for dinner. 😦

So we usually skip the cooking and go right to the Brewhouse.  Except today.

Cross Country Skiing

There was leftover chicken leg quarters with brandy butter in the frig.  And to top it off, leftover roasted baby red potatoes with fresh basil and lemon.  All I had to do was roast the green beans and dinner would be ready.  Ok, I could live with this.

Cross Country Skiing in the Cascades

It didn’t take long and the leftover chicken was gone.   As soon as the last bite touched my lips, my two sassy gals walked through the front door… looking for, you guessed it, leftover chicken.

What’s a Mom to do?  I really wanted to say “order a pizza”.  But I didn’t.  Yep, I made more chicken.

Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters with Brandy Butter Sauce

The brandy butter sauce is a lovely pan sauce taught by my favorite Chef Instructor during a poultry class.  I thought it a brilliant idea and I’ve used it ever since. If you don’t use wine when cooking, just substitute the brandy with some chicken broth and a splash of white wine vinegar and your sauce will be delish!

Serves 4 to 6


4 or 6 chicken leg quarters, bone in and skin on or trimmed (if you can’t find quarters substitute with 4-6 bone in chicken thighs and 4-6 chicken legs)

Grapeseed oil, safflower or sunflower oil (any high heat oil will be great)

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Large oven proof skillet and/or baking dish

For the sauce:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

3/4 cup brandy

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)


Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Paper towel dry the chicken and season the chicken with salt and pepper.

In a large oven proof skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of high heat oil over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot add the chicken leg quarters.

Brown the chicken, and then when they easily lift off the pan, flip over and brown the other side.  You are looking for a nice and toasty color.  It adds a lot of flavor to the chicken.

Once the chicken pieces are browned, put them in a pre-heated oven to finish roasting.  If using a baking dish, transfer the browned chicken pieces to the baking dish and place in the oven to finish roasting.  This should take about 20 minutes or so, but it’s best to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

The chicken will be done when the internal temperature reaches 160F.  Remove from the oven and let the chicken sit for about 5-10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a platter.  Put all the chicken juices in a saute pan, or the oven proof skillet, and heat the 2 tablespoons of butter with the juices.  Once the butter is melted and frothy, Whisk in the brandy (If using a gas stove, turn off the gas add the brandy, then turn the gas back on.  We don’t want to risk a fire.)

Let the brandy simmer and reduce by one half.  Remove the saute pan (or skillet) from the heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.  Taste for salt and pepper and then pour over the chicken leg quarters.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves if desired.



  1. The brandy butter sauce sounds fantastic… now I’m looking forward to roasting a chicken. Thank you!

  2. I love to downhill ski but I have never tried cross country skiing. Maybe if we get some snow this winter I will have to give it a try! This recipe looks incredible…that brandy butter sauce is making my mouth water! 🙂

    • I’ve always loved downhill skiing, just never been very good at it. Then I discovered cross country and fell in love! So much fun and a great workout. 🙂 And yes, that brandy butter sauce is divine! Sometimes I make it and use it over a whole roasted chicken, or simple pan seared chicken cutlets.

  3. The roasted chicken look delicious, I will have to try it myself. I also love the pictures – we don’t get to here – but it reminds me of when I spent 3 years in Europe and I did plenty of skiing then. Those were some of the best years of my life.

  4. I love that you made more for your daughters! So sweet. The dish looks so delicious!

  5. Malou Prestado says:

    Great post and I love the winter pictures! Snow is something denied to us here in Holland this winter. We only got rain and storm. Temperature has on some days hitting at 10-12 degrees Celsius.

    • Hi Malou, We usually get just lots of rain here in Seattle, WA. But the mountains are about 30 miles East and allow us the opportunity to do some winter activities. Holland sounds wonderful and I’d love to visit someday! Happy New Year!

  6. Thanks Maria. We ski above the summit. Once you get to the top there are lots of trails. It’s so beautiful. I feel like I’m in the first Narnia movie.

  7. Such beautiful scenery and such a gorgeous dish! Where you skiing on the Pacific Crest Trail?

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