Chicken Leg Quarters With Asparagus And Buttermilk Ranch

One pan, one fantastic meal.

Southern Living Chicken Leg Quarters With Asparagus and Buttermilk Ranch on sheet pan

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

The chicken leg quarter is the red-headed stepchild of the chicken world. Kids have always loved drumsticks; folks these days are really coming around to thighs. But the leg quarter is the best of both worlds.

Composed of the drumstick and the thigh, it’s a flavorful, generous cut of chicken that roasts beautifully in the oven. Since they’re still joined together, the leg and thigh stay extra juicy because they get based with the flavorful juices from the skin as the chicken roasts.

For even more flavor, we’ve whipped up a tangy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing to take this crispy chicken over the top.


  • 4 (12-oz.) chicken leg quarters

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated

  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil


Carrot Gold

Prefer carrots? Omit the asparagus, and add 2 pounds peeled carrots around chicken in Step 1. Sprinkle carrots with 1/4 teaspoon salt; drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake until chicken is done, 35 to 45 minutes. Drizzle with dressing, and garnish as directed in Step 3.

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

    Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Stir together smoked paprika, onion powder, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle seasoning mixture evenly over chicken, gently patting into skin.

    Arrange chicken on a large aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of chicken registers 150°F, 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, garlic, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

  3. Move chicken to 1 side of baking sheet. Add asparagus to opposite side; drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

    Bake at 425°F until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Drizzle chicken and asparagus with about 1/4 cup buttermilk dressing; garnish with dill. Serve with remaining buttermilk dressing.

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