Chicken and thyme jus

Chicken and thyme jus

Leiths How to Cook
400 ml
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
500g chicken wings, (about 10)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
300ml dry white wine
400ml red wine
3 shallots
1 small carrot
1 leek
1 celery stick
2 tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
2 small thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 parsley sprig
6 black peppercorns
3 litres Chicken and veal stock
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the chicken wings by cutting them through the joints into 2 or 3 pieces, which helps them to brown more evenly.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken wings thoroughly over a medium heat. Meanwhile, reduce the white and red wines, in separate pans, by three-quarters. Peel and quarter the shallots; peel and slice the carrot; wash the leek and celery and cut into slices about 1–2 cm thick.
  3. Once the chicken wings are browned, lift them out of the pan and set aside. Add the shallots, carrot, leek and celery to the pan and brown evenly all over. Pour off the excess oil from the pan and deglaze with the reduced wines (see note). Return the chicken to the pan.
  4. Quarter and deseed the tomatoes. Bash the unpeeled garlic cloves with the flat side of a large knife. Add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan with the other aromatics. Pour in the stock and bring slowly to the boil over a low to medium heat. Turn the heat down to low so the jus is just simmering and cook very slowly, uncovered, for 2–3 hours, skimming frequently.
  5. Strain through a chinois or fine sieve into a clean saucepan, discarding the bones and vegetables.
  6. Reduce the liquid gently to about 400 ml or until you are happy with the flavour concentration. Strain the jus again through a chinois or fine sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • It is important that the wines are reduced well before being added, otherwise a slightly raw alcohol flavour will be evident in the finished sauce.


  • Any herb can be used to flavour the jus, depending on what it is being served with. Likewise, reduced fortified wines can be used in place of dry wines, but expect a slightly sweeter result.

    Lamb and rosemary jus: Use 500 g browned lamb bones in place of the chicken wings, and substitute rosemary for the thyme, taking care with the amount of rosemary as it can lend a slightly bitter flavour to the jus if too much is used.
Leiths School of food and wine
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