Chicken Legs Baked with White Wine, Olive Oil & Parmigiano Reggiano; Making the Most of a Whole Chicken Part Two

Can you remember one-third cup? That’s really all you need to know in order to make this recipe: one-third cup olive oil, one-third cup white wine, one-third cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Garlic and thyme are nice additions but optional. Just whisk everything together, season the chicken with salt and pepper, throw it in a 450ºF oven and you’re done. Crispy skins. Tender meat. A delicious meal to add to your repertoire.

As the title of this post mentions, this is part two of a making-the-most-of-a-whole-chicken series. I have other recipes for the dark meat, but let’s just start with this one, k? It’s the simplest one I know and perhaps my favorite as well.

So you have a game plan now, right? Buy a chicken. Cut it up. Make stock. Serve broiled tarragon breasts for dinner one night, chicken legs baked with white wine, olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano another. Fry up that liver for a snack. And cook up those little tenders to add to a salad or a sandwich? I don’t have many creative ideas for the tenders nor much experience with the liver but I’m confident you will not let these bits go to waste. And, any tips you might have for cooking the liver would be much appreciated … I sort of just throw it in a pan and cross my fingers. Yum yum yum.

Chicken Legs Baked with White Wine, Olive Oil & Parmigiano Reggiano

Serves 2

2 chicken drumsticks + 2 chicken thighs
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
a few sprigs fresh thyme

1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

2. In a small shallow baking dish such as a pie plate, whisk together the white wine, olive oil, about half of the cheese, and the garlic. Throw in the thyme sprigs and the chicken and toss all around to coat.

3. Turn chicken so that the skin is facing up and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Take a peak. If the skin is getting too brown, reduce the heat to 400ºF. Continue baking for about 20 more minutes, or until the meat is pulling away from the bone on the drumstick. The time it takes to cook this chicken will vary depending on your oven, on the size of the legs, if the chicken was cooked directly from the refrigerator or if it had been brought to room temperature before baking, etc. Trust your nose — if you think it’s done, take a stab. After you’ve made the recipe once or twice, you’ll have a better idea about the timing.


  1. Delicious (and beautiful) chicken recipe! Smelled wonderful while cooking too! Thanks for the inspiration to cut up that chicken instead of roasting it whole – it was much easier than expected (even though I mangled the breasts a little bit). Great blog with beautiful pictures!!

  2. SO good… the chicken comes out with the most amazing texture. and so flavorful! Thanks so much for an awesome recipe. I didn’t have fresh thyme and sprinkled ground thyme along w/ the S+P. delicious!

  3. Love love love your website and your amazing recipes…I was just introduced to your blog by our mutual friend, Kerri, who went to school with you. I love your recipes and your beautiful photographs…This recipe is incredible. I love chicken and I am surely going to create this recipe this week! Thank you for sharing and so happy to have come across your delicious blog.

  4. I have made this multiple times already, as well as sharing it with friends. It is a crowd pleaser & I love that it is fast & easy! Keep ‘em coming!!

  5. I made this last night for the first time, and it was so darned good that DJ and I were picking up the (whole) thyme bunches and eating the parm-covered leaves right off the stalk after finishing the chicken — that’s how good this recipe is!

    • Crystal, honestly just buy a Sauvignon blanc or Pinot grigio from the grocery store — do you have a Trader Joe’s? That’s a great place to find cheap wines. Don’t spend more than $6 if you don’t have to.

    • Trish — I don’t know how to advise?! I would imagine you could, but I worry about the meat drying out a bit. I would definitely do bone in, skin on, and maybe check them for doneness after 25 minutes or so? Let me know if you give it a go… I know lots of people who aren’t the biggest fans of dark meat.

  6. Can you recommend a substitute for wine in recipes? I know the alcohol “cooks off”, but I can’t be anywhere near wine.

    • Mary — I would use chicken stock plus a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar to add a little acidity. So for this recipe, use 1/3 cup chicken stock plus 2 tablespoons vinegar. Hope that helps!

  7. I’ve made this about a dozen times now, using just legs, and it comes out great every time. I tried adding sliced, sauteed cremini mushrooms for the last 20 minutes the second time I made it and do it every time now. Serve it over rice so we can soak up every last drop of the delicious oil wine mixture. So delicious!


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