Chicken Legs with Wine and Yams


While I have gotten out a little bit, I am beginning to feel like a shut-in. The week of Thanksgiving I had my third stress fracture in 2 years. It is getting quite tiresome and I am filling my days while I stay off my foot with online baking classes and reading recipes. I am taking an online Artisanal Bread Baking class with the author of the Bread Bakers Apprentice – Peter Reinhart through a site called Craftsy that I came across almost by accident. So today I am trying some of my newly acquired techniques on a French Farmer’s Bread.


Well as much as I probably could make a meal out of good bread and a bit of cheese, I thought it might be nice for my husband to actually have something with a bit more to it than that. I tried this recipe from the Jacques Pepin’s Table cookbook, which I have used successfully over the years. This recipe is new for me, though.

If you are like me, you never remember the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. However, after power watching the Netflix series Grace and Frankie with Andrew recently (I highly recommend the series with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) the arc about yams and the “Yam Man” makes it pretty unforgettable.  Unfortunately, while I am using a “Garnet Yam” because that is what I had in the house, this is actually a sweet potato! Confused? Whether you use yams or sweet potatoes for this dish, it is simple to prepare on a weeknight and delicious to eat. Each element retained its shape and distinct flavor, while melding as a whole. The garlic became unctuous and was wonderful spread on bread. I was skeptical that the garnet yams would be cooked through but they were perfect. My pan could have been a touch bigger ideally but the Lodge pans have a dimpled lid which keeps the moisture circulating so everything was kept moist, while being totally cooked through.

Chicken Legs with Wine and Yams by Jacques Pepin

Yield: 4 servings


4 chicken saddles  on the bone (drumsticks and thighs) about 2 pounds (or buy the drumsticks and thighs separately as I did)

2 Tablespoons EVOO

1/4 cup chopped onion

4 large shallots, peeled and left whole (I only had 2 on hand so added some extra onion)

8 medium whole mushrooms

1 pound of yams (I had one big beauty, so that is what I used), peeled and cut into quarters. If it is large like mine, I halved it first and then cut each half into quarters.

1 cup dry white wine (I thought this was enough liquid but my husband would have liked more in the final dish, so you could add 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken stock in addition for more sauce)

8 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 Tablespoons, flat leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Using a paper or cloth towel to help you, remove the skin from the chicken. I there was any extra back bone attached to the thigh, remove it and freeze it for soup stock. Separate the drumstick from the thigh if you have purchased “saddles” rather than drumsticks and thighs.
  2. Heat the EVOO in one large or two smaller skillets with lids. (I LOVE my Lodge brand cast iron skillet and recommend getting yourself one if you don’t already have it.) Brown the chicken pieces on medium high heat, partially covered to prevent splattering, on all sides for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the shallots, mushrooms, yams, wine, garlic, slat and pepper.
  4. Bring everything to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and boil very gently for 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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