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Savory and delicious French-style chicken in red wine vinegar sauce. This homey dish cooks in 30 minutes.
Wine vinegar chicken is a simple French-inspired dish you can make with pantry staples like red wine vinegar, shallots and tomato paste.
You’ll be pleased that such a tasty dish uses ingredients that are easy to find and the method is really simple.
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dry white wine
- Red wine vinegar
- Tomato paste
- Bay leaves
- Fresh thyme
- Chicken stock or water
Pre-salting chicken (Dry brine)
My favorite trick for making tasty chicken is to pre-season it with salt, often well in advance of cooking.
The thought of not only planning the next day’s dinner in advance but actually getting it prepared in advance can seem like one more chore.
BUT — in this case the “preparation” involves taking chicken out of the package, sprinkling it with salt and putting it back into the refrigerator.
Then forget about it for 24 hours.
Yup. Trust me, it’s totally doable. And that simple step has a big impact on the outcome.
Allowing the chicken to rest in the refrigerator uncovered dries out the skin, and that’s the secret to good, even browning and minimal pan-stickage.
If you’re short on time on a busy day and want to make this recipe, skip the overnight dry brine.
Just sprinkle the chicken with salt about 15 minutes before cooking — you’ll still end up with a delicious dish, I promise!
What does vinegar do to chicken?
After searing the chicken skin until it’s nice and brown, pour in some dry white wine and vinegar along with the other ingredients.
Pop the whole pan in the oven to finish cooking.
As the chicken roasts, the chicken thighs become tender and the liquid reduces just enough to make a delicious, savory sauce.
What to serve with red wine vinegar chicken
Serve this delicious chicken with a simple salad, roasted smashed potatoes and plenty of crusty bread to soak up sauce!
- Unwrap chicken from its packaging and blot the chicken skin dry with paper towels.
- Season the chicken with salt, then let it sit uncovered for 15 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Heat your pan to temperature before adding the cooking oil and chicken.
Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar Sauce
- 6-8 (900 g) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) kosher salt, I recommend Diamond Kosher brand
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) finely chopped garlic
- ½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine
- ¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (45 g) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) chopped fresh thyme
- 2 small bay leaves
- ¼ cup (60 ml) chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, optional
- Put the chicken thighs on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. Sprinkle the salt on both sides of chicken. Refrigerate, skin side up and uncovered up to 24 hours ahead. This will season the chicken and help the skin to crisp and brown. If you're short on time, season with the salt and let it sit at room temperature 15 minutes then proceed with the recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 425 (220C) degrees.
- Heat a large (12-inch) wide pan with at least 2-inch sides over medium high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, and when it shimmers add the chicken, skin side down. Cook undisturbed for 10 minutes, watching that the pan doesn’t get too hot and adjusting the heat accordingly, until the skin is a rich golden brown. Turn chicken and cook the other side 2 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
- Pour off all but about a teaspoon of the fat in the pan, and stir in the shallot and garlic. Cook about 30 seconds, then pour in the white wine and vinegar, scraping the pan to remove the brown bits. Add the tomato paste, mustard, thyme, bay leaves and broth. Bring to a simmer then return chicken to the pan, skin side up.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and roast 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is cooked through. *Note: If you notice the pan juices are reducing quickly after 10-15 minutes, add up to ½ cup more liquid to the pan.
- Sprinkle the chili over the chicken, if using, and remove the bay leaves. Serve warm with the pan juices spooned over.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- I use Diamond Kosher salt, which has a larger grain than other brands like Morton, and isn’t as salty by volume. To season the chicken with a different brand, reduce the amount of salt to 2 teaspoons.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to a week. They taste even better!