Stewed Chicken Legs and Thighs with Fresh Herbs and Olives

Break down this recipe into make-ahead steps to yield an easy weeknight meal. Make the marinade on Sunday; add the chicken before you head to work on Monday morning. The wine and anchovies in this recipe form a mellow sauce; make sure you have plenty of bread on hand to sop up all the juices.

Stewed Chicken Legs and Thighs with Fresh Herbs and Olives
Photo: Greg Dupree
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
7 hrs 55 mins



  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 small (8-ounce) white onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 medium garlic head, cloves smashed (about 1/2 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 pound ice


  • 4 skin-on chicken drumsticks

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, divided

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 6 anchovy fillets, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 2 small white onions (about 1 pounds), quartered, root bottoms attached

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 6 medium pitted Castelvetrano olives, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon drained nonpareil capers

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil


Make the brine

  1. Combine coriander seeds and fennel seeds in a small skillet. Cook over medium-high, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Transfer seeds to a large pot. Add 2 cups water, onion, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and add ice. Let stand until ice is melted and brine has cooled completely, about 30 minutes.

Make the chicken

  1. Place chicken drumsticks and thighs in brine. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours. Remove chicken from brine, and transfer to a paper towel–lined baking sheet; discard brine. Pat chicken dry, and sprinkle with salt.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large (5-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 4 pieces of chicken, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with remaining 4 chicken pieces. Return all browned chicken to Dutch oven, and arrange in a single layer. Add 1/4 cup wine, garlic, and anchovies. Scatter onions over chicken. Cook until wine has mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes, shaking Dutch oven occasionally to ensure chicken isn’t sticking. Add thyme sprigs and remaining 1/4 cup wine. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until chicken is tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°F, 30 to 40 minutes.

  3. Remove chicken from heat, and top with olives, capers, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Place 1 drumstick and 1 thigh on each serving plate. Drizzle chicken with pan juices, and sprinkle with parsley and basil.

Suggested Pairing

Nutty, citrusy Tuscan white.

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