• 2 chicken legs (including the thighs)
  • 1 tblsp thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves (broken in half)
  • 1 tblsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 500 ml duck or goose fat (or olive oil), to cover


  • It is usually duck legs that are cooked in this way, but all fowl taste pretty good cooked in half a litre of duck fat! It adds wonderful moisture and a rich texture to pheasant, guinea fowl or even pigeon. I usually double or even treble the quantities (but keeping roughly the same amount of fat, which just needs to cover the meat in the saucepan) as it makes no difference to the amount of work involved and it keeps in the fridge, covered in the fat, for up to a year.
  • Place the chicken legs in a bowl and sprinkle over the thyme, one of the bay leaves, salt and pepper, rubbing the herbs and seasoning into the meat. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 110°C (225°F/Gas 1/4).
  • Remove the chicken legs from the fridge. Discard any liquid from the bowl and rinse the meat to wash off the salt and pepper. Pat very dry with kitchen paper, then place in a saucepan large enough to fit both chicken legs snugly.
  • Add the garlic, peppercorns and remaining bay leaf to the pan, then pour over enough duck fat to cover the chicken. (If there is not enough duck fat to cover them, add a little olive oil to make sure they’re covered.)
  • Place in the oven and cook for about 7 hours or until the chicken is completely tender and easily comes away from the bone. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • To serve, first remove the chicken from the fat. Place a frying pan on a medium-high heat, then drop in about 1 tablespoon of the fat and cook the chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes or until the skin is crisp and golden in colour and the meat heated right through.
  • Serve hot with Creamy Lentils or Roast Potatoes, or at room temperature, broken into large bite-sized pieces on a salad.


Rachel's tip: Once you’ve used the chicken, reserve the fat as it can be reused, either for this recipe again or for roasting potatoes.