Red Wine-Roasted Chicken — A delicious spin on a go-to supper

A recipe from Peter Sanagan that creates “a pool of butter-enriched red wine that the chicken swims lazily in"!

A recipe from Peter Sanagan that creates “a pool of butter-enriched red wine that the chicken swims lazily in"

(Photography by Peter Chou)

If you like the simplicity and versatility that a roast chicken brings, but are a little tired of the same-old, this may be the technique for you to try. Beyond wanting to spoon "a pool of butter-enriched red wine" over some rice, this recipe from Peter Sanagan’s Cooking Meat employs a method you might find yourself using again and again.

Red Wine-Roasted Chicken

By Peter Sanagan

When I worked at Mistura, I was introduced to a wet-roast method of roasting whole birds. This method works particularly well with game birds, as the liquid braises the legs while the breasts get browned by the dry heat. It also produces a particularly tasty sauce: a pool of butter-enriched red wine that the chicken swims lazily in.


  • 1 (3½ pounds) whole chicken, trussed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small lemon
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cold, cubed (divided)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock:

  • 5 pounds chicken bones, preferably carcass or back bones
  • 5 tsp salt
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 4 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 onions, cut in half widthwise
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in half
  • 1 leek, cut in half
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Have a roasting pan with an elevated roasting rack ready.

Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Using your hand and a bit of pressure, roll the lemon on your work surface to “loosen” the juice by breaking up the pulp. Using a toothpick, poke a few holes in the lemon. Place the lemon in the cavity of the chicken.

Pour the oil all over the bird and, using your hands, work it into the skin, getting into all the crevices. Place the chicken on the roasting rack, roast for 20 minutes, and then remove from the oven and set aside. Turn the oven down to 350°F.

While the bird is in the oven, melt 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium-low heat in an ovenproof pot large enough to hold the bird. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic and sweat for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the carrots and celery and turn up the heat to medium, stirring constantly until the vegetables have softened. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the thyme and bay leaves, then deglaze the pot with the wine. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Transfer the chicken to the pot, along with any cooking juices from the roasting pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer again, then roast, uncovered, for about 1 hour. The chicken is cooked when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F. Remove from the oven and let sit, still uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Strain the roasting juices into a saucepan (discard the solids) and bring to a light boil over high heat. Reduce the sauce by one-quarter, about 5 minutes, and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

Turn down the heat to a simmer. Gradually add the remaining cold butter, whisking constantly to emulsify the sauce. Do not let the sauce come to a boil after adding the butter or it will split. Once the butter is incorporated, turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.

To serve, carve the chicken. Arrange the meat (including the wings) on a deep platter and pour half the sauce over the chicken. Pour the remaining sauce into a gravy boat and serve on the side.

Chicken Stock:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the chicken bones with the salt, arrange them in a single layer in a roasting pan, and roast until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

While the bones are roasting, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, cut side down, and sear until they’re dark brown. Remove them from the pan and chop.

Place the roasted bones and onions in a stockpot with the garlic, carrots, onions, celery, leeks, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Add just enough water to cover the bones and bring to a simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Turn down the heat to low, use a spoon to skim off any scum that’s risen to the top of the stock, and simmer for another 2 hours.

Remove the stock from the heat and allow to cool for 1 hour before straining through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container, like a mason jar. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Yield: Makes one roasted chicken, 5 quarts Chicken Stock

Excerpted from Cooking Meat: A Butcher's Guide to Choosing, Buying, Cutting, Cooking, and Eating Meat by Peter Sanagan. Copyright © 2020 Peter Sanagan. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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