French-style Braised Chicken Legs with Wine


6 chicken legs
1 cup diced bacon trimmings
6 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large carrot peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 bottle (750 ml) of red wine
3-4 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
few thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp white peppercorns
5 tbsp brandy
5 tbsp port
splash of sherry vinegar
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups veal stock


  1. Put the chicken legs, bacon, and vegetables into a large bowl and pour over the red wine. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Strain off the wine and reserve it for later use. Set the vegetables and bacon aside. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in large cast-iron casserole. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper and pan-fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from the casserole and set aside.
  3. Add a little more oil to the casserole, if necessary, then add the vegetables and bacon. Sweat for 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soli. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns and fry for a couple more minutes.
  4. Deglaze the casserole with the brandy, port, and sherry vinegar. Let bubble until reduced to a sticky glaze. Pour in the stocks and reserved wine and return the chicken legs. Simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken legs are tender and cooked through, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface from time to time.
  5. Remove the legs to a plate and strain the stock through a fine strainer into a clean, Nvide pan. Boil it vigorously until reduced to a rich and syrupy sauce. Meanwhile, saute the bacon cubes in a dry skillet until crisp.
  6. When ready to serve, return the chicken legs to the reduced sauce. Warm through, then divide the chicken between warm serving plates. Garnish with the thyme sprigs, and wafer-thin slices of white toast if you like. Serve accompanied by vegetables of your choice.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze