Pan-Roasted Chicken Legs with Herbed Pan Sauce
Starting a dish on the stove top and then finishing in the oven is ideal for the dark meat of chicken legs. Parsley, tarragon, shallot and white wine combine to create this bright-tasting pan sauce.
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 whole bone-in chicken legs
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 Tbs. minced shallots
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
In a large nonreactive bowl, stir together the lemon juice and thyme with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the chicken, turn to coat, cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and discard the marinade.
In a large, heavy ovenproof fry pan over high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the chicken skin side down and sear for about 5 minutes on the each side, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent scorching. Pour 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./ 80 ml) of the broth into the pan and bring to a boil. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat away from the bone registers 170°F (77°C), and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced at its thickest point with a knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the pan from oven, transfer the chicken to a warmed serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes.
Pour out and discard all but about 1 Tbs. of the fat in the pan. Place the pan on the stove top over medium-high heat, add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 1 minute. Add the parsley and tarragon and cook for 30 seconds. Add the vermouth and stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid has almost evaporated. Pour in the remaining 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./170 ml) broth and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the butter. Remove from the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Year-Round Roasting (Weldon Owen, 2014)