Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chicken braised in sherry and red wine vinegars

One of our best friends, Dave, came over for dinner last night. We ate chicken braised with sherry and red wine vinegars over mashed potatoes (homemade, of course) and a side salad. I'd never made it before. I was riffing off the idea of a coq au vin, but I didn't have any wine on hand, so I replaced the wine with vinegars, stock, and a little cider syrup for sweetness.

I was very happy with the results: tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken with a dark, rich sauce. The tanginess from the vinegar set off the richness of the mashed potatoes to perfection. It was one of those warm, hearty meals that you love to eat on a cold fall day.

Dave was also happy with the results. After a second helping, he announced he envied our future selves because they would get to eat this chicken again. So why not make others envy you and try making this dish?

You will need about half an hour to prep ingredients and then an hour to let it simmer.


  • 4-5 lbs of chicken pieces (bone-in breasts, legs, thighs, wings; if you don't have these, you can cut up a whole chicken into eight pieces)
  • all-purpose flour (about a cup)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3-4 large shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbsp sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider syrup (if you don't have this, use some maple syrup instead)
  • 1 1/2 cups stock (I used a beef stock, but chicken will be good too)
  • smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  1. Rinse the chicken pieces well with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. 
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and lots of smoked paprika.
  3. Dredge the seasoned chicken in AP flour. Shake off the excess and set the chicken aside for now.
  4. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. 
  5. When the butter starts bubbling, add the minced shallots. Cook for four to five minutes until they soften. 
  6. Add the chicken pieces to the pan with the shallots and let the flour on the chicken cook to a nice, dark (but not burnt) crust on all sides (start with the largest pieces so they have a little more time to cook). (You are basically building a roux here.)
  7. Mix the vinegars, stock, tomato paste, apple cider or maple syrup and pour the mixture over the chicken. Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan up into the braising liquid. Stir in the thyme. 
  8. Bring the heat down to low, cover the pan, and let the chicken simmer for an hour. Stir from time to time. 
  9. After an hour, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over mashed potatoes. Enjoy. And then maybe sneak some seconds a little later. 



  1. Another Terrific recipe, Tora! Cannot wait to make this, and I have chicken ready for Sunday! Thank you

  2. Fun! Let me know how it turns out. We were thrilled with it last night.