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Braised Chicken Legs with Red Wine, Tomato, Anchovies & Rosemary

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks are best for braising. When chicken legs are simmered slowly, the meat becomes wonderfully tender and falls off the bone; at the same time, it develops a rich, deep flavor. In this dish, the red wine (in combination with chicken broth) adds tanginess and some welcome acidity.


  • 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus 1 tsp. whole rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on medium chicken thighs (1-1/2 to 1-3/4 lb.)
  • 4 chicken drumsticks (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 6 plum (Roma) tomatoes, peeled, cut into quarters, and seeded
  • 1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 430
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 220
  • Fat (g): 24
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 110
  • Sodium (mg): 900
  • Carbohydrates (g): 7
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 34


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Put the anchovies, garlic, and chopped  rosemary in a food processor and process until finely chopped, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the chicken broth and process again until the ingredients are well blended, about 30 seconds.
  • Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. In a straight-sided 10- or 11-inch ovenproof sauté  pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side down in the pan (it’ll be crowded), cover with a splatter screen, if you have one, and cook until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other sides are deeply browned, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Pour out and discard all the fat from the pan.
  • Return the pan to medium-high heat, carefully add the wine to the pan, and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour in the broth mixture. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, along with any accumulated juices. Add the tomatoes and cover. Transfer the pan to the oven and braise until the chicken is fork-tender and the drumstick meat starts to come away from the bone, 45 to 50 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and tomato pieces to a large serving dish and keep warm by covering the dish loosely with foil. Tilt the sauté pan and skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced and full-flavored, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and whole rosemary leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes.

Look for a fruity young red with vibrant acidity such as the Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti.


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Reviews (10 reviews)

  • jclove | 08/04/2014

    This is a "keeper". I followed the recipe as written and was delighted with the results. As there are only two of us, I only used two thighs and two drumsticks but made the complete amount of sauce which was almost all consumed. Mashed potatoes go really well with this dish

  • Heidi67 | 10/27/2013

    I though this was okay, but my dad and uncle loved it. I I used Pomi chopped tomatoes since tomatoes are out of season. I boiled the sauce for about 20 minutes and added a little potato starch to thicken it up. Next time I'll add twice the amount of anchovies, because I couldn't taste them at all.

  • Ginny37 | 10/25/2013

    This is a go-to recipe for me. I use rosemary and Roma tomatoes from our garden, when I have them, or canned wedges when I don't. The diced ones would break up too much in the braising. I use anchovy paste and only add about a teaspoon of vinegar at the end. I serve this with a green salad and the Roasted Polenta from this recipe.

  • poodle1 | 10/13/2013

    I made the recipe exactly true to the directions and the result was vile. We actually threw the chicken away & made a frozen pizza.

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