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Sauerkraut with Chicken Leg Quarters and Sausages


This recipe is based on the French dish "choucroute garnie" (garnished sauerkraut). Don't let the fancy name fool you -- it's simple to make and is the ultimate comfort food.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Everyday Food, December 2011


  • 2 pounds sauerkraut, drained
  • 2 pounds chicken leg quarters (about 3), split into drumsticks and thighs (see Smart Strategy note) and patted dry
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 medium carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cups dry white wine, such as dry Riesling or Pinot Gris
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds


  1. In a large bowl, cover sauerkraut with water. Heat a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pot, skin side down, and cook, turning until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add kielbasa, cut side down, to pot and cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes, flipping once. Add carrots, onion, and 1/2 cup water; cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until water is evaporated and onion is softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil.

  2. Drain sauerkraut, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible. Add to pot, along with sugar, bay leaves, and caraway seeds; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

  3. Place chicken, skin side up, on top of sauerkraut and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover pot, and rapidly simmer until chicken is cooked through and liquid is slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Cook's Notes

Flavor Tips: Soaking and then simmering the sauerkraut mellows its sharp bite but leaves enough zip to complement the sausages and chicken. For a spicy kick, try andouille sausage instead of kielbasa.

Smart Strategy: Meaty chicken leg quarters are a terrific bargain. Cook them whole or separate them into thighs and drumsticks: On a cutting board, place the leg quarter skin side down and, with a sharp large knife, cut through the joint, along the white fat line.

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