Chicken Legs, Pierre

Chicken Legs, Pierre

A Recipe from The Family Circle Fish and Poultry Cookbook (1955)

About the Recipe

There are a few things in this recipe that I find interesting enough to try again and to play with in the future. Because the chicken gets browned in the pan first, when the tomatoes (from the can! Don’t use fresh, the juice is important!) get poured into the hot pan, the effect is to de-glaze all of the goodness from the browned chicken. Basically you end up starting your sauce with a warm, flavorful base.

Once the chicken is added back into the pan and covered, effectively you’ve browned the chicken to keep it moist and then poached it for the rest of the cooking time. The result is fall-off-the-bone tender chicken legs in a nicely blended, slightly spicy sauce. On that note – add some more hot pepper sauce, you won’t regret it!

This is an easy to execute, delicious chicken recipe. While it’s on the stove poaching, use that time to whip up some mashed potatoes, which will soak up that additional pan sauce with the chicken. Yum!

About the Book

This is my first Family Circle cookbook, and what a fantastic little resource! Right from the start, the book kicks off with fantastic mid-century illustrations on how to carve poultry. The book itself is divided into sections based on what kind of bird or fish you’re planning on cooking. Do you have some duck? There’s a section for that! Some oysters? There’s a section for that, too! Grouper? Oh yes, a section for that as well.

I can see this becoming a regular for mundane and interesting recipes a lot in the future. In addition to the usual suspects (chicken a la king, poached salmon, etc.) there are some weird ones that make mid-century cooking so much fun (see: turkey pancakes). My brother Jon (in the photos below) gives this book a big thumbs up!

The Recipe!


8 chicken legs
1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
3 T butter or margarine
1 can (about 1 lb.) tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 T brown sugar
2 T vinegar
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t salt
1 t chili powder
1 t dry mustard
1/2 t celery seeds
1 clove of garlic, minced
Few drops bottled hot-pepper sauce


1. Dust chicken legs with seasoned flour.

2. Melt butter or margarine in large heavy frying pan with tight-fitting cover; brown chicken over medium heat on all sides; drain on absorbent paper.

3. Combine remaining ingredients in same pan.

4. Bring to boiling; reduce heat; return chicken to pan; cover.

5. Simmer chicken 40-45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with 2-tine fork.

6. Serve with pan sauce.

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