Savory, French homestyle chicken in red wine vinegar sauce, plus get the secret to crisp brown skin.
This homey braised chicken is a simple French-inspired dish you can make with pantry staples like red wine vinegar, shallots and tomato paste.
And while we’re at it, do you want to know the secret to getting a crisp skin on chicken?
Read on — you’ll be surprised that the method is pretty simple.
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My favorite trick in the book is the method of generously pre-seasoning meat (and fish) with salt, often well in advance of cooking.
The thought of not only planning the next day’s dinner in advance (and actually starting to prepare it too) seems like one more good intention gone astray.
BUT, in this case the “preparation” involves taking chicken out of the package, sprinkling it with salt and putting it back into the refrigerator.
The forget about it for 24 hours.
Yup. Trust me, it’s totally doable. And that simple step has a big impact on the outcome.
Also, letting the chicken sit in the refrigerator uncovered dries the skin, which is the secret to good, even browning and minimal sticking to the pan.
If you’re really short on time, salt the chicken about a half hour before cooking — you’ll still end up with a delicious dish.
What does vinegar do to chicken?
Chicken tastes great with any acidic ingredient – that’s probably why lemon chicken is so damn good!
After searing the chicken, white wine and vinegar go in and deglaze the pan.
All that good brown stuff merges with everything else, layering the flavors.
As the chicken cooks, the meat gets tender and the liquid reduces just enough to make a delicious, savory sauce.
Serve this delicious chicken with crusty bread or roasted potatoes on the side.
To get brown, crisp chicken, follow a few simple steps:
- Unwrap chicken from its packaging. Blot the chicken skin dry.
- Season the chicken with salt, then let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
- Heat your pan to temperature before adding the cooking oil and chicken
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (I use Diamond Kosher salt)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 small bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Put the chicken thighs on a small rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. Sprinkle the salt on both sides of chicken. Refrigerate, skin side up, for at least one hour and up to overnight, uncovered. This will season the chicken and help the skin to crisp and brown.
- Heat a large (12-inch) wide pan with at least 2-inch sides over medium high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, followed by 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, then add the white wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, shallot, bay leaves, thyme and water. Return chicken to the pan, skin side up. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook 25 minutes.
- Season the chicken to taste with black pepper and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Serve warm, with the pan juices spooned over.
- 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, reduce the amount of salt to 2 teaspoons if using another brand.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 29mg Sodium: 859mg Carbohydrates: 5g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Protein: 7g