Baked Chicken Legs in Thyme-Vermouth Sauce

My personal all-time classic…

chicken vermouth

These baked Chicken Legs in Thyme-Vermouth Sauce are one of the recipes I have made most often – they are on my repertoire list of everyday- as well as for “for guests”-dishes. They are easy to prepare, quickly made (even works for a weekday dinner after work) and the combination of thyme and vermouth is simply great. Adults like them as much as kids, and all you need on the side is a piece of fresh baguette to dip into the sauce and clean the plate!

The initial recipe, like some other we have already posted, is from the German magazine “Essen & Trinken” – if I’m not mistaken from 1992. I remember I got a copy of the recipe from my mother when I was a student and prepared for a dinner party almost 20 years ago (oh my god I’m OLD!!!). It was a quite memorable party… took me a couple of days to fully recover and clean up my flat – but I don’t think I can blame either the chicken nor the vermouth in the sauce, so I will spare you more details.

By now I have lost the copy – it was anyway already very faded and had lots of grease stains, and I’ve made it so many times that I memorized it. The “original” chicken legs recipe also contains a peeled tomato, cut into pieces, which I didn’t include this time. I love fried mushrooms with bacon on the side, but it’s not a must. Baked zucchini or cherry tomatoes also work well. So an easy recipe without limits…

Baked Chicken Legs in Thyme-Vermouth Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Poultry
Serves: 4
  • Chicken Legs:
  • 4 large chicken legs
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 0,3l chicken stock
  • 0,2l dry vermouth (e.g. Noilly Prat)
  • 0,1l cream
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt
  • rapeseed oil
  • optionally: 1 peeled tomato, cut into pieces
  • Fried Mushrooms:
  • 500g cremini mushrooms
  • 75g pancetta, cut into small dices
  • 3 shallots
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Cut the chicken legs into 2 pieces and season them very well with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat some oil in a large-oven proof roaster and fry the chicken legs so they get golden brown on all sides.
  4. Pluck the thyme leaves from the stem and distribute over the chicken legs. Add the chicken stock, the vermouth and potentially the tomato pieces and put the roaster into the oven for ca. 40 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, clean the mushrooms, and cut them into halves (big ones in quarters). Dice the shallots and saute them together with the pancetta cubes for 5-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season well with salt and pepper, increase the heat and fry for another 5 minutes until the champignons are done, but still have bite.
  6. Take the chicken legs out of the sauce and keep them warm in the switched-off oven. Bring the sauce to boil, add the cream and season to taste.
  7. Put the chicken legs back into the sauce and serve with the fried mushrooms and fresh baguette.


chicken thyme

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