Chicken is one of the healthiest foods you can include in your diet. Chicken is a good source of high quality, lean protein and four ounces provides more than two-thirds of your daily protein requirement, according to the Whole Foods website. Chicken is also high in vitamin B6, selenium, phosphorus and the cancer-protective B-vitamin, niacin. According to a study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, niacin-rich foods such as chicken help to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Learn how to properly grill chicken legs and thighs for a nutritious and flavorful meal.

Things You'll Need

Purchase fresh chicken legs and thighs from a supermarket or butcher. Look for legs and thighs that are similar in size for more even cooking.

Preheat your grill to the medium setting or 250 degrees.

Wash the chicken legs and thighs under cool running water. Pat dry with clean paper towels.

Trim away any excess fat from the chicken to prevent flare-ups while grilling.

Place the chicken legs and thighs on the preheated grill. Grill the chicken for 45 minutes to one hour. Use tongs to occasionally turn over the legs and thighs as their skin turns golden brown.

Gently pierce the chicken legs and thighs with a fork. When the chicken becomes thoroughly cooked, the fork is able to be easily inserted and the juices run clear, rather than pink.

Place the grilled chicken thighs and legs on a clean platter and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving. Season with salt, pepper or favorite sauces.


  • You can brush the chicken legs and thighs with commercially prepared or homemade barbecue sauce during the final 10 minutes of cooking.

  • You can also use a meat thermometer to determine when the chicken is done. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the legs and thighs, and when it reads 165, the chicken has completed cooking.