Wine in the pot

Roast chicken legs with red-wine pan gravy

January 27, 2010

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Serves 4

The red-wine pan gravy is made with the sediment from roasting chicken legs. To make deglazing easier later, roast the legs in a large cast-iron skillet. Then you can transfer the skillet from the oven to a burner. Otherwise, use a baking dish.

4 whole chicken legs
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh rosemary and thyme
1 cup boiling water
1 cup red wine
1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Have on hand a large cast iron skillet or a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken.

2. Arrange the chicken legs in the skillet or dish. Rub them all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the herbs.

3. Roast the legs for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 175 degrees. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it in a warm place. Cover loosely with foil (the temperature will rise 5 degrees while the meat rests).

4. Transfer the skillet to a burner and pour in the boiling water. (If using a baking dish, pour the boiling water into the dish; use a spoon to scrape the sediment from the bottom. Tip the mixture into a saucepan.) In either case, add the wine and bring to a boil. Skim the surface to remove the fat. Let the mixture bubble steadily, skimming several times, until it reduces by half (you should have 1 cup of sauce).

5. Cut the legs in half to separate the thighs from the drumsticks. Arrange a thigh and drumstick on each of 4 dinner plates. Spoon some of the sauce over each one. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs. Serve with oven fries. Sheryl Julian