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One-Pan Bacon-Chicken Legs with Cabbage, Apples, and Potatoes

Possible additions include sliced carrots, fennel, or frozen peas. Changes might be leeks instead of onion or more apple in place of potatoes. You could even swap in pears for apples – or use a combination. Bone-in thighs will work instead of drumsticks. See TIPS in the blogpost for an idea about using breasts or whole legs. See Cook's Notes's for increasing or decreasing the recipe. Make this for your homestyle Oktoberfest celebration!
4-6 servings


  • 4 thick pieces of bacon cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 8 chicken legs (drumsticks)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 medium tart apples cored and sliced (I like Granny Smith.)
  • 8 small unpeeled 2-inch new potatoes, sliced (about 2 1/2 cups sliced potatoes)
  • 1 medium yellow onion-peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • Pinch ground cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • ½ small head of cabbage, cored and sliced into ½-inch thick wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 cup dry white wine (can sub chicken broth or apple cider)


  • PREHEAT OVEN/COOK BACON: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set rack at center. Over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp in a deep 12-inch sauté pan or dutch oven on the stovetop. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined bowl and set aside. Pour or spoon out all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.
  • BROWN THE CHICKEN IN THE BACON FAT: Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and pepper and place in a single layer in the pan. Cook for several minutes over medium-high heat until browned on one side, then turn and brown the other side.
  • ADD THE VEGETABLES, ETC. In between the chicken legs, add the apples, potatoes, and onions, mixing them as you go along. In a ramekin or small cup, stir together the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, the pinch of ground cayenne, and sprinkle it over the apple mixture. Add the bay leaf. Lay the slices of cabbage and garlic evenly over all and sprinkle with a tiny bit more salt, pepper, and the caraway seeds. Dot with butter. Pour the wine over everything.
  • BAKE/ SERVE HOT OR WARM: Cover, and place in oven, baking for 30-40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 165 degrees F or above and all the vegetables and apples are tender, particularly the potatoes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot or warm with a spoonful or two of the juices and garnished with the reserved crispy bacon pieces.
    Store yummy leftovers carefully covered for up to 3 days, heating gently in a small skillet and adding chicken for just a minute at the end. Do not freeze.


Cook's Notes:  2-3 SERVINGS:   I tried this with 6 legs and 6 potatoes, too, in the same size pot  with the same amount of onion, apple, and wine. Worked just fine. 
6-8 OR MORE  SERVINGS: I did not try it, but think you could increase this recipe, browning the chicken in batches, adding all of the ingredients to a big casserole dish covered in foil or larger dutch oven, and increasing the baking time.  
Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2021. All rights reserved.