About Thyme

A variation on a theme. Chicken legs. I cooked them in white wine and chicken stock with prunes and apricots a while back. Well, bring on CIDER.


I have this simple cookery book on French classics by Finnish, one-time Michelin man, Hans Välimäki. He has this recipe of chicken in cider sauce, which had cream and parsley in it. Well, I had no cream, and instead of parsley, I was really feeling more like thyme. I also rather liked the basic way the Amy Willcock recipe had worked before, especially the broth it produced. So I sort of combined the two.


Chicken legs in cider with carrots, mushrooms and thyme

  • 2 chicken legs
  • 4 small shallots
  • handful of bacon bits
  • cooking oil
  • generous nob of butter
  • a few mushrooms, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 dl dry cider
  • fresh thyme twigs, chopped
  • salt
  • black pepper


Oil and butter in the hot pan. Fry your chicken legs. I added some salt at this point and was patient in giving the legs good colour.


Put the fried legs aside and sauté the roughly chopped onion and bacon bits in the oil and juices. Cube the mushrooms and toss in. Add some black pepper for seasoning. Peel and chop carrots and add them in.


Place the chicken legs on top of it all and pour the cider over.  The cider can be any good English or French dry cider. I used Crowmoor. Chop fresh thyme, removing all the stringy stalks, and sprinkle into the pan. Place a lid on and leave to simmer for 40 minutes or so. I actually left them for closer to 50, and the meat was juicy and succulent and falling off the bone.


The major difference to the earlier chicken leg recipe is that there is no extra stock. The cider, the butter and the juices from all the veg and meat just create this wonderful broth between them.

And I’m being totally honest here. This was incredibly good. Just the thing for winter evenings. I’m definitely making this again, should one of my carnivorous friends care to join me.


Now, if you want a side dish, lentils would be nice. The broth was so good and there was enough of it to reuse, so I took some green French lentils and cooked them in the broth for at least 30 minutes (until soft-ish), adding water when necessary.


However, I did not have the lentils with my chicken this time. I saved them to eat later with… Well, you’ll just have to wait and see. But there does seem to be a French thing going on in my kitchen at the moment. So it’s something French.


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