Try a New Recipe: Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar

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Now, before you judge based on the name, let me just tell you: This dish was excellent. The very first time we made this, it received handwritten stars, right in the cookbook, despite the fact that my mother-in-law came in while it was cooking and turned up her nose and said “Eww. It smells like vinegar in here.” True, while it is cooking, it smells like vinegar, because yes, there’s vinegar IN it. But, the vinegar becomes the most excellent, flavorful sauce when combined with shallots and garlic and everything else. Just trust me, and give this recipe a try.

The recipe is from Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2007. It is really quite easy, with only 25 “active” minutes IF you don’t have kids underfoot. Chances are, if your pantry is as stocked as mine is, you have almost everything you need to prepare this dish. Enjoy.

Oh, and my boys loved this chicken. Except H-Bomb said the garlic slices “taste funny.” Other than that, he devoured his whole chicken thigh, even when we asked him if he realized he was eating (gasp!) SAUCE. “Yes, I know,” he said. “Mommy, this is the best dinner ever.” (He always says this whenever he likes something. Isn’t he sweet?)

Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar
Active: 25 minutes; Total: 1 hour 5 minutes 4 servings
Wine pairing: Fruity, light-bodied Beaujolais

For master cook Paula Wolfert, a F&W contributor and the author of many cookbooks, (I don’t have any of them, can you believe it?) this rustic Lyonnais dish defines comfort food. Slow cooking transforms red wine vinegar, tomato paste, shallots, garlic and a touch of honey into a perfectly balanced sauce for chicken.

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 large chicken thighs, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons creme fraiche (I use sour cream)
3 tablespoons chopped tarragon

1. In a medium saucepan, boil the vinegar with the broth, honey and tomato paste, stirring well. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes.

2. Heat the butter in a large skillet. Season the thighs with salt and pepper and add half of them to the skillet, skin side down. Cook them over moderate heat, turning once, until browned. Transfer the cooked thighs to a plate; repeat with the rest.

3. Add the garlic and shallots to the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the dry white wine and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add the sauce; bring to a simmer.

4. Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up. Cover and simmer over low heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to plates.

5. Add the creme fraiche to the skillet and boil for 3 minutes. Add the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. (I didn’t use any more salt and pepper at this point). Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve right away.

Martha (MM)

Sounds wonderful Min! I’m always looking for new recipes for pan or oven when our grilling gets rained out – happens way too often in the summer in Florida.


That sounds really good to me but then again, I LIKE vinegar for it’s tart flavor and it’s positive properties. Glad to see I’m not the only one with picky eaters!