Poulet au Vinaigre is a classic French dish that has its roots in the bistro world, much more so than the world of Cordon Bleu cooking. Although many versions do go with the classic approach to French cuisine and a cream based sauce, this dish has evolved in the last few decades to be a darling of the nouvelle world. As a result, we get to look at a much lighter, more approachable dish that is easy to replicate.
It brings flavor profiles from many directions. As the name suggests, it is chicken with vinegar, so you get that tanginess. There is some butter, so you get that richness. Garlic, shallot and dry white wine help with the piquant aspects, along with a nice dollop of tomato paste. Finally, fresh tarragon brings along garden flavors and the mild anise components for which it is famous.
Poulet au vinaigre recipe
- 8 Chicken thighs
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Large clove shallot coarsely minced
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 Cup chicken stock
- 1 Cup dry white wine
- 1/3 Cup red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon minced
Start with eight chicken thighs and trim the skin to remove the major fatty stripes down the sides. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. In a twelve inch skillet over medium heat add olive oil until it begins to glisten. Place the chicken skin side down and let it cook without moving for 8 minutes.
Flip the chicken over and repeat the process, allowing the bottom side to brown evenly, another 8 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Drain off all but two tablespoons of the oil from the pan.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add your shallots and garlic and sauté moving constantly until golden brown. Add all the liquids, wine, stock and vinegar and use to deglaze the pan. Keep stirring to remove all the nicely colored bits and pieces in the skillet. Add the chicken back to the pan and place uncovered in the middle of the oven.
Check after 30 minutes, looking for 190 degrees internal temperature for the chicken. Remove the chicken and set aside, preferably on a warmed platter.
Return the skillet to a medium high heat on the stovetop. Whisk in the tomato paste and bring to a boil.
Continue simmering until the sauce has reduced down to around 1-1/2 cups. Remove from heat, whisk in butter and tarragon. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces and put the platter on the table for a classic bistro style meal.
We used a little extra chopped tarragon for garnish and served with cubed and pan fried potato.
For a similar tutorial check out Glen and Friends in this video: