These chicken drumsticks braised in wine just elevated our midweek dinner game. Easy enough to throw together after work and definitely not something that’s going to break the bank, the dish is simply chicken drumsticks simmered in rosemary-infused wine until tender. Don’t forget plenty of bread or rice to soak up the sauce that clings to the super tender chicken…and to help soak up the rest of that bottle that you opened for the recipe and poured for yourself.Angie Zoobkoff

A skillet filled with chicken drumsticks braised in wine with a wooden spoon and wine cork lying beside the skillet.

Chicken Drumsticks Braised In Wine

5 / 2 votes
Chicken drumsticks braised in wine is sorta like a cheater’s chicken cacciatore that’s an easy weeknight dinner made with just a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories463 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, skin on
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, or more to taste, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup store-bought or homemade chicken stock


  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss the chicken in the bag, seal, and shake to coat.
  • In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the chicken until golden brown on all sides, turning the chicken often so that it browns evenly, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Push the drumsticks aside, add the garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary, reduce the heat slightly, and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Carefully stir the tomato paste into the oil in the sauté pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the wine, increase the heat, and boil until the liquid is reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan, and gently simmer, occasionally turning the drumsticks, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened, 40 to 45 minutes. Taste and adjust the amount of salt and pepper to taste. Remove and discard the bay leaf before serving.
A Seat at the Table Cookbook

Adapted From

A Seat at the Table

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Serving: 2 drumsticksCalories: 463 kcalCarbohydrates: 12 gProtein: 29 gFat: 28 gSaturated Fat: 6 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5 gMonounsaturated Fat: 16 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 139 mgSodium: 308 mgPotassium: 610 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 3 gVitamin A: 336 IUVitamin C: 4 mgCalcium: 34 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Josh Kilmer-Purcell | Brent Ridge. Photo © 2017 Christian Watson. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This chicken drumsticks recipe that’s braised in wine is basically a super simplified chicken cacciatore, an Italian classic that is always a crowd pleaser. Nothing to chop or slice—just smash some garlic and you’re ready to go. Another plus: drumsticks are wallet-friendly and inexpensive-but-still-good enough to drink wine make it a fairly economical family dinner.

(I used a $9 bottle of Chardonnay and the sauce didn’t suffer one bit.) I knew the chicken and oil would spatter a lot, so I used my pot that’s 4 inches deep and 10 inches in diameter and it accommodated all 8 drumsticks in a single layer. After 45 minutes of cooking, we removed the tender chicken and reduced the tasty sauce a few minutes longer until it was thick enough to cling to the wooden spoon. The dish was served with a simple green salad and Kalamata olive bread to sop up the sauce. Next time, I would chop the rosemary leaves into the oil for a more robust flavor.

This braised chicken drumsticks is a simple weeknight dish that I’m happy to add to my repertoire. While the chicken cooks, there’s plenty of time to put together the rest of the meal, set the table, or just relax.

Next time I might add a little extra broth to thin out the sauce some. This was a late addition to a meal I had planned and it fit in well. We had a simple salad and vinaigrette, sourdough bread, and linguine with fresh chopped tomatoes, brie, and basil. An advantage to the sauce clinging to the chicken was that the chicken could be served on a dinner plate alongside the pasta without flooding the pasta with the sauce from the chicken. More of the wine was served with the meal.

This simple yet excellent recipe is perfect for a chilly fall evening. It takes about an hour and works well as written and can be used for any cut of chicken, even a cut-up whole fryer. My initial thought when I tasted this was to quote my father. He would have said this was a “stick-to-your-ribs” dinner. We LOVED it and will certainly prepare it again!

This chicken drumsticks recipe that’s braised in wine is the perfect rustic blend of tomatoes and white wine with a hint of pine-like rosemary essence. My kids and I enjoyed this simple comforting dish on a bed of buttered noodles and sautéed zucchini. It would be equally tasty on top of mashed potatoes or even creamy polenta.

This braised chicken drumsticks recipe was so simple to prepare but the flavors are amazing. I love the deep tomato and rosemary that comes through in a very thick sauce.

The only thing I might change is the name of the recipe because wine is not the main player in the recipe. It’s so good, though, that I can’t fault the title.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. The narrative description says red wine, but white wine is listed on the recipe. Which is it? Thanks!

    1. Josette, thank you so much for catching our slip! I just fixed the narrative. The recipe calls for white wine, as indicated in the ingredient list, and that’s how we tested it…with magnificent results. Although I guess I unconsciously left in the mention of red wine as I recall thinking at the time that it would probably work quite well with any wine. Please accept our apologies and our appreciation for helping us make the recipe less confusing! And kindly let us know when you make the recipe what you think…and which type of wine you decided to use.