Braised Rooster Legs with Wine and Sage

Contains:  Alcohol (cooked off).  Is:  Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nightshade-free (the bell pepper is not part of the recipe, and is present to add color to the photography.  Any salad or other side would work), Paleo.

Well, I pulled out a couple home grown legs from the freezer (thigh and drumsticks together), and decided to surf around for further rooster-y ideas.  These legs are from male broiler chickens about 21 weeks old, a bit more tough than supermarket ones, but not really old birds, either.

rooster, chicken, braised, sage, peppercorns, wine, gluten-free, recipe, simple and easy

A serving of braised rooster leg, cooked in sage wine sauce, which is also drizzled over the serving.

I let them thaw for a couple days, this extra time will help tenderize them.  You can also let them “age” for a couple days immediately after harvesting in your fridge before depositing them in the freezer.  This gets the poultry past the stage of rigor mortis.  Also, there’s the whole “low and slow” aspect of cooking older birds – ideally, these roosters of mine should have been harvested around twelve – fourteen weeks.  But it is also good to have a few low and slow rooster recipes to hand in case you ever have to cull a mean rooster that you’d intended to have watch your laying flock of hens.  Or if you decide that your hens are too old to lay and you don’t have the room to maintain them.  (That, though, may well be chicken and dumplings, a dish my mother made with tougher stewing grocery birds that were available in my childhood.)

rooster, chicken, braised, sage, peppercorns, wine, gluten-free, recipe, simple and easy

Actively foraging chickens will have very little fat. The fat that does exist was markedly more golden than the colors this photo shows.

I used dried ground sage since I had already begun thawing the chicken, and I didn’t see any other reason to go to the “nearby” supermarket 35 minutes away just on the rather off chance that they had fresh sage available, for the next several days.  (In the summer, I’ll be able to access my own.)  When you live rural, you improvise.  Yes, I plan to have an indoor herb garden for the most-used herbs (which probably doesn’t include sage), and in 2020 I should have an actual greenhouse, which may well include sage.

These legs are from another bag where I saved up one from each broiler type I was tasting, the black and the red broilers.  To see if there is any difference between them in the gustatory department.  (The black broilers did tend to get larger.)

rooster, chicken, braised, sage, peppercorns, wine, gluten-free, recipe, simple and easy

The larger (thicker) leg belonged to the black broiler, the other was from a red broiler. Both legs were about the same length.  Both tasted the same, although the black broiler leg was more tender. They are more filling than legs one gets from the supermarket.

Anyhow, here is the recipe.

Prep Time:   5 minutes.
Cook Time:  70 minutes, including the browning.
Rest Time:  15 minutes.
Serves:  2.
Cuisine:  Homesteading with Roosters.
Leftovers:  Yes.  Refrigerate with sauce and re-heat.

Braised Rooster Legs with Wine and Sage

  • 2 legs (both drumstick and thigh) – mildly aged is best, if possible.
  • 2 tablespoons / 30 mL oil
  • ¼ cup / 60 mL dry white wine (Use a dry apple cider if preferred)
  • 1 cup / 240 mL low sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground dried sage, or if you have them, 6-8 fresh sage leaves
  • Around 10 peppercorns

Heat the oil in a medium or large skillet on medium over the range.

Add the rooster legs, drying them with a paper towel first.  Sear them until brown, 3-4 minutes skin side down, flip over and do the other side for the same amount of time.

Remove briefly from skillet.  Add the sage in, stirring lightly for 30 seconds.  Deglaze with the wine, scraping up that fond.

Return chicken to skillet, add the peppercorns and broth, and cover, reducing the temperature to low, but allow the liquid to lightly simmer.  Occasionally drizzle the liquid over the legs.   Braise for an hour.

The legs should be tender when pierced, and the sauce should have thickened to some degree.  You can reduce the liquid further by boiling around five minutes, uncovered.  If too thick for your tastes, add a couple tablespoons more of broth.

Rest the chicken, covered, about 15 minutes.  Discard peppercorns.

Plate the chicken legs, adding the sage and wine sauce over them.  Serve and enjoy.

This is a dish that could also be made with supermarket chicken legs, you may wish to cook them a shorter period of time.  Test them with the tines of a fork; if you can easily pierce them, they are done.  You would not need to “age” supermarket chicken, nor should you be likely to need to “age” broiler roosters that had been harvested into the freezer at the appropriate week, at least not for two days.  (I’ll let you know with the next batch!)

They are filling… I ate the one (and the bell pepper slices), and only because I wanted to check any difference between the two broiler types, I took one bite of the thigh of the red broiler at that time, saving the rest for later.  There was a mild but noticeable toughness to the red broiler not present in the black.  Overall flavor was the same and delightful.

rooster, chicken, braised, sage, peppercorns, wine, gluten-free, recipe, simple and easy

Linkie doohickies this time around:







About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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7 Responses to Braised Rooster Legs with Wine and Sage

  1. Ai says:

    Yum! That golden skin is everything! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I always learn something when I visit! And you can’t go wrong with a little wine and any “real” bird as far as I’m concerned. I bet it tasted divine!

  3. helenfern says:

    Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party.

  4. Miz Helen says:

    I remember my Grandmother cooking rooster legs, this recipe reminded me of her! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

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