Chicken Drumsticks Braised In Wine

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.

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

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

Chicken Drumsticks Braised In Wine

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4
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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.

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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.


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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.

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