Chicken simmered with rich Marsala wine, earthy mushrooms and sage becomes juicy and tender and is perfect for a weeknight or weekend family meal.
4 whole chicken legs (leg and thigh)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, sliced thickly
1 large fennel bulb, cut into thick wedges
3 bay leaves
400 grams medium Portobello mushrooms, cut in half
6 large cloves garlic, peeled
3 sprigs thyme
8 sage leaves
1 cup Marsala
½ cup chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
roasted baby carrots or vegetable of your choice
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Heat the oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan or casserole large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Season the chicken and brown well on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
Add the leek, fennel and bay leaves to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and sage leaves, season and cook for another 5 minutes, turning frequently.
Nestle the chicken into the vegetables along with any resting juices. Increase the heat and pour over the Marsala. Let it bubble up then add the stock and bring back to the boil.
Cover the chicken with a piece of baking paper then cover tightly with a lid or foil.
Braise for 30 minutes then uncover and cook for a further 15–20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. To test that the chicken is cooked through, pierce the inner thigh and check that the juices run clear. Serve with roasted baby carrots.
Pantry note: Marsala is a fortified wine from Sicily. Dry Marsala can be drunk as an aperitif or added to savoury dishes. The sweet version is also used in cooking, such as in the classic dessert, Zabaglione. Available from good food or wine stores.