Chicken and thyme stew

Preparation info

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Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

A simple stew in the French country style with the sweetness of leeks and the floral qualities of thyme. Serve with a fresh green mixed-leaf salad, finish with a little fresh goat’s cheese, and you are eating like that middle-class dream, a peasant.


  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • 5 chicken thighs
  • enough flour to coat chicken
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 300 g (11 oz) canned tomatoes
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 stalks Italian parsley
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Dust chicken pieces lightly with flour. Melt oil and butter, add chicken and brown really well. Remove chicken, add leeks and cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add carrots and celery, and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add white wine and let bubble for 2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, salt and pepper and heat through.

Return the chicken to the pan, and simmer over gentle heat for 1½ hours, turning chicken occasionally. Skim off any oil that may gather on the surface every now and then.

Serve with fresh thyme scattered on top.