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Chicken Braised with Red Wine Vinegar and Tomatoes

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 116

Deliciously piquant and complex, this dish depends on good-quality red wine vinegar, so use the best you have.

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 4 even pieces
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put the flour, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a 1-gallon plastic zip-top bag. Close and shake to combine. Add the chicken to the bag, zip it closed, and shake vigorously to coat with flour.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet(preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add half of the chicken in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaf, raise the heat to high, and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil vigorously until almost evaporated, about 30 seconds. Return the chicken and any accumulated juice to the pan, along with the chicken broth, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley, cover, and cook for 1 minute more.

Season to taste with salt. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Simple Green Beans and lots of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 470; Fat (g): fat g 27; Fat Calories (kcal): 250; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 43; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 14; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 12; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 720; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 150; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

So good!! Made this with chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs and it was wonderful. I agree with another reader to NOT drain the tomatoes - the liquid will evaporate and the more sauce leftover at the end for soaking up with some crusty bread, the better! :-)

I have made this so many times it has become a go to meal for me. Simple, budget friendly, and delicious!

Just made this for dinner and it was not a disappointment! The only difference I made was using the whole can of tomatoes seriously do not drain it absorbs all that liquid so no worries on that one just dump the whole can in ;) also I used a red wine vinegar that is infused with pomegranate very yummy!!! N i also used cut up chicken breasts and didn't add too much salt because I used broth which was also very salty I took a reviews advice and just used 1/4 tsp of kosher salt , if it comes out salty just add a lil more pepper and walla...I will be making this again!

Lovely recipe. Tastes better the next day, after the flavor have a chance to blend.

Fast & Easy. Very Tasty . I used fire roasted tomatoes which were excellent.

Excellent mid week meal. Full of flavour, simple ingredients and easy to prepare. A keeper recipe, and a real family favourite. I have on occassion added pitted black calamata olives to the sauce, which goes wonderfully with all of the ingredients. I usually serve it over orzo with sauted spinach as the side. Yum!

This was wonderful and will be permanent in my home! I used Columela's Sherry Vinegar (Vinagre de Jerez), canned organic tomatoes and fresh bay leaves.

DELICIOUS! A great one-pot meal for two, or four. Don't change a thing in this recipe!

Used chicken breasts. I did not like the canned tomatoes and would try fresh next time. I also might not have reduced the vinegar enough! This recipe was very easy.

very good , I used chicken breasts , also added mixed peppers and large shrimps (cooked in salted water and added to dish in last 2 min.)

This recipe was GREAT!! The family loved it. I don't consider myself to be a good cook so if I can turn a delicious dish like that out, anybody can. I didn't change a thing. I spooned the chicken and that awesome sauce over some fried polenta. Made some bread in the bread machine and a tomato and onion salad on the side. My wife usually does the cooking, but I had a couple of days off so I thought I would surprise her. I think I made a mistake however, she asked what I was making next.

I enjoyed this dish. I would say it is definitely important to boil off most of the vinegar, and you certainly want a good quality red wine vinegar! I didn't cook it down enough the first time around and the dish was a bit tart for my taste. BUT... once I cooked it down a bit more I can see why the dish is so popular. I like a bit of sauce, so I reduced the amount of chicken and added enough stock to get it to the consistency I like. Served it over couscous.

Absolutely delicious. I found it a little on the salty side, so I add 1/4 tsp of salt instead of the 1/2 tsp and season up from there. This has become a standby in our house!

Just made this and really liked it - I mis-read the recipe and bought chicken breasts instead of thighs, but it turned out fine. I used 2/3 a very sharp homemade red wine vinegar and 1/3 fig balsamic vinegar -really nice sauce flavor. I doubled the chicken, and other ingredients, but not the tomatoes.

Just made this for Sunday Dinner tonight and it was really really good. Used liquid from the tomatoes that had basil and oregano with less chix broth - it made a very nice gravy - served it over Quinoa Spaghetti. Very tasty! I will definitely make this again.

I made this last night using my All-Clad non-stick 12" saute pan and it was easy and delicious. I also did not drain the diced tomatoes and ended up with lots of extra juices to serve over rice. I am fortunate enough to live a few blocks from a Vom Fass store and was able to try two different red wine vinegars. I ended up using an aged red wine vinegar that was quite complex but mellow compared to their other non-aged red wine vinegar and will use it again the next time I make it. This will become a regular dish for me.

Used chicken breast, instead of thighs. Pounded down the breasts to a consistent thickness and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Good quality red wine vinegar really is key as stated and used an organic low sodium stock. Also, added baby portabello mushrooms and that was just yummy! This actually tasted even better reheated the next day. Served with sauteed spinach.

Made this for 12 last night and it got great reviews from guests. For a large dinner, I make ahead what I can: fried half the chicken, made the sauce, and poured it over the chicken, then put it (covered) in the warming drawer on High; repeat for the rest of the chicken; an hour and a half later, the chicken was still somewhat crunchy and had cooked all the way through. Made brussels sprouts with a creamy sauce and Brown Rice with Walnuts and Golden Raisins, also a Frisee Salad with Walnut Oil and had a really well-received meal. Will definitely make again.

I made this tonight. It was delicious. I had an extra orange pepper which I julienned and added to the onions. It added another spark of color. That is the only thing I changed in the recipe. I think it would be delicious with polenta as well. I used my old trusty cast iron skillet. It came through with flying colors.

Really liked this one. It was quick and easy. I followed the recipe to a "T" except, I used a little less chicken so I was able to brown all the chicken in one batch using a large skillet, and I put the liquid from the tomatoes in as well. There was less sauce to sop up than I was expecting, given the advice to have crusty bread on hand. Next time, I will use a little more chicken stock, red wine vinegar and maybe some more onions and tomatoes. But I like a lot of liquid. As for the cast iron part of the recipe, no way I am cooking tomatoes in my beloved cast iron skillet for almost ten minutes. I am surprised anyone would suggest that in a cooking magazine web site. So I used a stainless steel all-clad skillet and everything came out right.

Followed recipe as written. Delicious.

OMG - I agree - nhammer should try the recipe before rating it. This was delicious! I did add the juice from the diced tomatoes because it seemed to need it....and if it weren't late and I wasn't starving, I probably would have made some pasta or rice to serve it over..I will be making this again!

Really good, quick with pantry staples. I threw the green beans in to finish the braise for a one dish meal .

Fabulous! Very grown-up flavors. We enjoyed this meal and plan to serve to company this weekend. My husband suggested serving an array of fine olives on the side.

Perfect recipe in that it is flavorful, easy enough to make, but with enough finesse to serve it to company, too... an informal Sunday supper for close friends. Be sure and use the best red wine vinegar you can get... a worthwhile investment, because, if you're like me, you'll be making this one again and again.

Excellent, and I would make it again. Odd that the previous person rated it without even trying it - just on the suspicion that something might happen to the pan or that the recipe may resemble soemthing else. Reviews like that serve no purpose and are particularly odious.

Sounds delicious but also sounds suspiciously like a Patricia Wells Provencal recipe. Also, not a real good idea to cook tomatoes in a cast iron pan. The acid will eat into the seasoned surface.

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