Red Wine Braised Chicken

After watching one food-related show or another (they all kind of blur together after a while), I got it in my head that I needed to have wine braised chicken in my life. I’d be willing to bet you’ve had a moment or two like that. It was all I could think about for a few days until I knew I had time to actually cook, instead of the usual “let’s see what will taste the best for the least amount of time and effort.” This, unfortunately, is not one of those meals that requires minimal time and effort, but it’s so worth it.

I found a recipe by doing a little Google-ing and deciding which ingredients sounded the most appealing. This one was the winner.

Let’s begin.

You will need:

  • Chicken legs. The recipe I used calls for 6 whole ones, but I usually usually buy the value packs that have four legs. I’m only cooking for two people, so six would be way too much. Remove the skin and separate into thigh and drumsticks.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced. I’ve done it with sliced and diced, and it really doesn’t seem to matter.
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger, or about 1/2 teaspoon of powered ginger. I use powered because I always forget to buy a ginger root when I’m at the store, without fail.
  • 1 cinnamon stick, cut in half
  • 1 cup dry red wine. The two times I’ve made this, I used Barefoot Red Zinfandel. I don’t know if this counts as a dry wine, but I am not about to buy wine that I won’t drink.
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, chopped and with the juices
Bottle of red wine, measuring cup of wine for the recipe, glass of wine for the cook.
The wine is really the most important ingredient.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • In a large and heavy shallow pot or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In two batches, sear the chicken on both sides over medium-high heat. Remove from the pot and place on a deep dish. Pour fat and juices out of pan and onto dish with chicken.Two chicken legs in a pot
  • Add remaining oil, saute cumin seeds until they get fragrant. This only takes 10-15 seconds.
  • Add onions, saute over fairly high heat for about 5 minutes, until they are soft and transparent.
  • Add cinnamon stick, ginger, bay leaves, and garlic. Saute until garlic begins to brown.

Stirring the onions, garlic, and spices in oil

  • Reduce heat and add wine. Simmer over medium-low heat for five minutes.
Onions, garlic, and spices in wine
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine. Enjoy.
  • Add stock/broth and tomatoes with juice. Simmer over medium low for about 10 minutes. This is not entirely necessary. I forgot the broth last time I made this and instead upped the wine by 1/2 cup and added a little water and it was just as good.
  • Add the chicken and juices to the sauce. Stick a lid on it and simmer on low heat for about an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is tasty.

All ingredients in pot.

  • Toss out the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, as they tend to get stronger the longer they sit and you don’t want to over power the sauce.
  • Serve with: just about whatever you want. I’ve had it with both rice and mashed potatoes with excellent results. Pretty much any starch will do.
  • Enjoy! And maybe have another glass of wine while you’re at it.


By [E]queSarahSarah

Part-time artist, full-time crankypants who dabbles in knitting, running, and burpees.

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