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Chicken Legs with Braised Peas and Onions

Updated June 22, 2017
This image courtesy of Ditte Isager

Editor's Note: Cooking chicken legs doesn't have to be a difficult task. With this recipe for Chicken Legs with Braised Peas and Onions by renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, you'll cook dinner like a pro! Full of flavor and boasting several rich colors, this recipe for chicken legs will quickly become your go-to meal when you want to serve something hearty and delicious. You can easily serve this chicken recipe with a fresh green salad and slices of just-baked bread for a meal that is satisfying and filling. This recipe can also be ready to eat within about an hour, so consider preparing it on a weeknight. 

Mark Sargeant, my head chef at Claridge's, in London, and general right-hand man, considers this his most favorite dish. The braised peas and onions are similar to petits pois à la française, a French classic that even featured on Mark's retro menu for his wedding reception — served with homemade sausages and mash.

Serves4

Cooking MethodBraising

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

MealDinner

Taste and TextureMeaty, Savory

Ingredients

  • 4 large, free-range chicken legs, each 10-12 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 fat garlic clove, skin on, lightly crushed
  • 1½ tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 7 ounces pearl onions, peeled (about 1½ cups)
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 cups green peas, thawed if frozen
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 romaine heart, shredded

Instructions

  1. Trim any excess fat from the chicken legs. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until hot. Season the chicken legs all over with salt and pepper, then fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Add the thyme, garlic, butter, and water to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan, and braise until the chicken legs are tender, 30-40 minutes. Turn the legs over halfway through the cooking.

  2. About 15 minutes before the chicken is ready, melt the butter in another pan and tip in the onions. Toss well and cook over medium to low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, 8-10 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs, peas, and water. Season well. Simmer until the peas are tender and most of the water has evaporated, 5-6 minutes. Add the lettuce and stir until just wilted, about 1 minute longer.

  3. Spread the braised peas and onions on a large serving platter and arrange the glazed chicken legs on top. Serve immediately.

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Wow! This dish is absolutely unbelievable. The only thing I would do differently is not make it in such small quantities because you're going to want it for leftovers.

This dish is delicious, definitely a crowd-pleaser.

This is a great spring dish, one I remember from my (long ago) childhood here and in Europe. Looking at it today, I'm thinking maybe it would be great for quail and other game birds so easily available these days in the market's freezer.

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