If you don't want a side of salmonella with your chicken leg and thigh, you need to make sure that it's fully cooked. While 40 minutes is generally about right, cooking times are approximations. The size of the hindquarter, the color and material of the pan you use for cooking and your oven temperature and performance are other factors that affect how long it takes. Familiarize yourself with the rules for determining when poultry is safely cooked.
When It's Safe to Eat
A chicken hindquarter is fully cooked when the center of the thigh registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read food thermometer. Make sure the thermometer isn't touching bone when you take a reading. If you don't have a food thermometer, cut into the center of the thigh and look closely at the juices that run out; they are clear when the chicken is safely cooked.
Oven Temperature Considerations
The hotter the oven, the faster the chicken hindquarter cooks. If you like crispy skin, cook it in the top third of your oven at 500 F. At this temperature, expect a cooking time closer to 30 minutes. If you don't want to crisp the skin, roast the chicken at 350 F and plan to cook it for closer to 40 minutes. Preheat your oven for at least 15 to 20 minutes, or the cooking time is likely to run a little longer.
Eric Mohrman is a food and drink, travel, and lifestyle writer living with his family in Orlando, Florida. He has professional experience to complement his love of cooking and eating, having worked for 10 years both front- and back-of-house in casual and fine dining restaurants. He has written print and web pieces on food and drink topics for Orlando Style Magazine, CrushBrew Magazine, Agent Magazine, Dollar Stretcher Magazine, The 863 Magazine and other publications.