Farmhouse Chicken in Vinegar Sauce

Philippe Gaertner, a chef—like his father and grandfather before him—in Ammershwihr, France, prefers to use Alsatian honey-perfumed melfor vinegar to make this classic dish. In the absence of this strictly local product, he recommends using cider vinegar sweetened with a drop of honey.

Farmhouse Chicken in Vinegar Sauce
This simple but delicious dish is an Alsatian classic of chicken seared and then shallow-braised in a vinegar–white wine sauce.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-1/2-lb). chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup cider vinegar mixed with 1 drop honey
  • 1 cup Alsatian riesling or other dry but fruity white wine
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Rinse chicken, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil and 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, skin side down, and brown, turning once, about 10 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Repeat procees with remaining chicken. Remove from pan and pour off most of the fat, leaving just enough to thinly coat skillet.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Deglaze skillet with vinegar and wine, scraping brown bits off bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce vinegar mixture by about one-third, 3-5 minutes, then stir in tomato paste. Return chicken to skillet, pour in stock, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn chicken and continue cooking until juices from chicken run clear, about 15 minutes. (If sauce becomes too thick, thin with a small amount of chicken stock or water.)
  3. Remove chicken from skillet with a fork and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high, skim foam from sauce and continue cooking until sauce is thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Cut remaining butter into small pieces. Remove skillet from heat and whisk butter into sauce. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. (Sauce should be smooth but tart; add additional vinegar if desired.) Return chicken to skillet, turning to coat evenly with sauce. To serve, transfer chicken and sauce to a serving platter and garnish with parsley.