Some recipes for this dish use stewing chickens, but we like to use chicken thighs, which are moist and easier to serve.
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 4 lb. skinless chicken thighs
- 4 ribs celery, sliced
- 4 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and sliced
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 tbsp. tarragon vinegar
- 1 tsp. fines herbes (a blend of parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives)
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt butter in a large cast-iron pot or heavy-bottomed casserole over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pot, add chicken and cook until well browned, 6–8 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a large plate and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Reduce heat to low to keep water hot.
Add celery, carrots, onions, vinegar, fines herbes, and bay leaf to pot with butter and rendered chicken fat, scraping any browned bits stuck to bottom of pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot, add enough hot water to just cover chicken (about 3 cups), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Discard bay leaf.