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.


Thats a typical gourmet one from you...
Simple yet delicious...
Hi Kalyan,

Great recipe and use of my red wine sauce. Thanks for mentioning me on your blog and I look forward to spending more time reading your posts.

Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Somoo, thanks. I too was floored by the simplicity of the recipe and the result was quite arty.

Hi RG,

Thanks for writing in. I am hooked on to your site now. I think it is definitely THE BEST handbook to cooking that I have come across.

I plan to dip into it very often.


you mentioned cottage cheese...pan seared cottage cheese? Is the cottage cheese different in India?
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Jessica, you get a version of cottage cheese called Paneer in India which is firm and you can lightly saute it.

However, you have brought up an important point. All options that I suggested to chicken take less time to cook and have to be stirred more gently too
Miri said…
That looks like a very elegant sauce!! really nice
Unknown said…
hi,thanks for the simple yet such a fantastic recipe.

being a true bong with an innate passion for food, i believe that there can be no love greater than the love for food ( thankfully my husband too thinks the same, hence peace prevails;)

Okie, i read your blog last saturday and somehow got this immediate urge to try out pan-seared chicked in red wine sauce RIGHT THEN.
Made a few variations as my sudden and impulsive plan left me a wee bit unprepared.I used rose wine instead of red wine and also added cheddar cheese instead of butter that i guess gave a sharp, tangy taste when mixed with rose wine.For garnishing, i fried some finely chopped onion and garlic till they became nicely crisp and lightly browned ( the kind used for garnishing in khowsuey).

the final output did exceed my expectation and left us craving for more.

now i am all set to whip up this dish for my friends in our next party. but this time i'll surely try out with red wine.

Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Irin...this looks like a great build on the original. Crisp oinions and garlic would be a lovely touch. Actually I didn't use butter but I can imagine that the cheese would make the sauce quite wanton...lip smacking stuff.


Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hi Miri, 'elegant' sums it up so well