That peaceful easy feeling - Pan seared chicken in red wine sauce

What would you do if you had half a bottle of red wine left from a party?

Ten years back I would have told you, drink it' and muttered about how the party would have been pretty lame to start with if their was unfinished booze.

Now, in my thirties, I will tell you about a red wine sauce that I made last night. I got the recipe from a very useful, practical site called The Reluctant Gourmet.

It is a fairly simple recipe, bordering on 'lazy cooking'. I followed it to the T except I didn't add butter and forgot to add chopped onions. And I substituted Dijon mustard with some crushed mustard seeds and the balsamic vinegar with regular vinegar. The recipe was largely the Reluctant Gourmet's but I didn't stretch myself too much on the ingredients front.

The result was a very nice and light dish which was quite different from anything that we have cooked at home.


  • 4 chicken drumsticks. Make incisions on the surface of the chicken so that it cooks well and that the sauce goes in. You can substitute this with prawns, fish or cottage cheese/ paneer (for vegetarians). Not red meats unless you boil it first so that it cooks.
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • salt, crushed pepper powder
  • 1 cube chicken stock dissolved in half a cup of water
  • Half a cup of red wine
  • One tablespoon chopped thyme
  • One tablespoon mustard powder/ or sauce
  • One tablespoon vinegar, ideally balsamic


Pan seared chicken (OR prawn, fish, cottage cheese)

  • Heat the oil in a non stick pan
  • Add the chicken pieces
  • Sprinkle some pepper and salt and keep stirring till the chicken is cooked
  • You can make little holes with a knife or a fork in the chicken to ensure that it is cooked properly
  • You can AVOID OIL by grilling the chicken in a microwave with salt and pepper and a bit of vinegar
  • Take the chicken aside

Red wine sauce

  • In the same pan add wine, chicken stock, mustard and vinegar and keep boiling till the sauce reduces and becomes glazed. 'Reduces' means that the level becomes 1/5 th of the original and the liquid should be thick enough to stick to a spoon
  • Add the chicken back in the pan for a couple of minutes and turn the chicken so that the sauce spreads over it.
  • Add the thyme at the end and you are ready

To serve

  • Place the drumsticks on a plate
  • Take the sauce out with a spoon and put it over the chicken and streak it on the rest of the plate like they do in restaurants
  • Serve it with bread rolls as the dish has a slightly sharp taste thanks to the wine and the (salty) stock and the bread helps counter that
  • Some of the remaining red will go well with it

The end result looked quite elegant and I couldn't think of a single unhealthy, fattening element in it.