Oregano Chicken Simmered in White Wine

Oregano Chicken Simmered in White Wine
Inspired by Rosemary Chicken in Saveur

Now, that the holidays are looking us square in the face, I'm assuming most of us have thought of the main meal....the Grandaddy meal....but what about the other nights? Are your guests only there for the Thanksgiving extravaganza or will they need to be fed other evenings as well? Well, this is a dish I love to serve to guests. (Although, be forewarned, if you drink the wine that you'll be cooking with while cooking, it can lead to lots of animated chatting and loud laughing which will ensure that the dinner won't actually hit the table until 8pm or later.) This isn't a dish you prepare in advance or leave in a crock pot all day, but it is one that has only a few ingredients, minimal prep and sits in the oven for 45 minutes while you drink wine and chat clean up the kitchen and prepare the side dishes. I use a variety of chicken pieces...always with the bone-in and skin-on. This makes for a much moister meat and it's easier on the pocket-book. You can always take off the skin once it's done cooking if you'd prefer not to eat it. If you don't have fresh oregano handy, you could always use rosemary or thyme. And as a testimonial to this dish, the last time I made it my 5-year old said to me, "Mawm, you prob'ly won't be too surprised when I say this to you, but that dinner was so delicious."


  • A medley of skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces - ex: 2 drumsticks, 3 whole legs and 1 breast
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed from stem, stem discarded (I haven't tried it but you could probably substitute 1 tsp or so of dried oregano)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • Generously sprinkle your chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  • Put your flour on a plate and then, dredge your chicken pieces through it, coating them evenly and completely with the flour and then, shaking off the excess.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed pot, one that can move from stove to oven, on your stove over medium heat.
  • Pour in your olive oil to heat.
  • Then, add your chicken pieces, skin side down.
  • Cook for 5 minutes then, carefully flip your pieces over and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Slowly and carefully pour in your white wine.
  • Add your oregano and bay leaves.
  • Allow wine to reduce for about 2 minutes.
  • Then, pour in 1 1/2 c of water, put the lid on your pot and put the whole concoction in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • At this point, I usually cut up some potatoes - fingerling, red potatoes, etc. - toss them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and sometimes some rosemary, and put them in the oven along with the chicken when there is about 25-30 minutes left of cooking time. Then, all I have to do is cut open some bagged lettuce whip together a little green salad or steam some broccoli and we have a meal.
  • When the timer goes off, take the lid off your pot and allow the skin to crisp for another 5 minutes.
  • Then, carefully take your chicken out of the pot, put on a platter, tent with foil and set aside.

To the juices left in the pan:

  • squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon (more if you like things really "lemony") and stir it up a bit.
  • Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  • Add a ladle and have people spoon this heavenly "au jus" over their chicken and potatoes.

If you didn't want to monkey around with preparing the potatoes, you could also serve this with rice which would also soak up all of the delicious "au jus" beautifully. However you decide to go....enjoy.

Yield: 5 or so chicken pieces - This recipe can easily be doubled to serve more people.

All original text copyright: Carrie Minns 2009-2010


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