Cane Vinegar Chicken Stew with Pearl Onions, Oranges, and Spinach
Hugh Acheson likes to combine classic French techniques with all things southern. Cane vinegar, which is made from sugar cane, is one of his favorite pantry ingredients for adding a malty, sweet-and-sour tang. If you can’t find cane vinegar, you can substitute malt or cider vinegar.
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8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2-1/2 to 3 lb. total)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
3/4 lb. fresh pearl onions, peeled
6 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika (pimentón)
1-1/2 cups cane vinegar
1-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
4 large navel oranges
6 oz. fresh spinach, stemmed (4 cups)
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
Season the chicken on both sides with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
Melt the butter in an 8-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the thighs until golden on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onions, garlic, and paprika to the pot and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high and simmer until the vinegar is reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the broth. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the chicken to the pot skin side up, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the peel off the oranges. Working over a medium bowl to catch the juice, cut the segments free from the membranes. Squeeze any remaining juice from the membranes into the bowl.
When the chicken is done, add the orange segments and juice, spinach, and mint to the pot, gently stirring them into the sauce. Divide the chicken and sauce among 4 bowls. Serve immediately.
This vibrant, brothy stew is delicious over buttery mashed potatoes.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 109
, pp. 42
December 30, 2010