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Braised Chicken Legs with Black Vinegar, Ginger, and Shiitake

Servings: 4

The vinegar braising liquid cooks down to a mellow sweetness, bright with ginger and the woodsy umami of shiitake. This dish is perfect with jasmine rice and a glass of cold Riesling.


  • 4 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken legs (about 2-1/2  lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. peanut oil; more as needed
  • 2 cups stemmed, thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery (about 5-1/2 oz.)
  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Chinese black vinegar
  • 8 oz. bok choy leaves, cut into thin ribbons (about 5 cups)
  • Cooked jasmine rice
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into small dice (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes; more to taste
  • 1/2 Tbs. Asian sesame oil

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 520
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 200
  • Fat (g): 22
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 185
  • Sodium (mg): 610
  • Carbohydrates (g): 39
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 41


  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season liberally with salt and pepper. With a multicooker pot on the sauté or browning function adjusted to the highest setting, add 1 Tbs. of the peanut oil, and heat until shimmering. Sear the chicken legs in batches, skin side down, adding oil as needed, until golden on both sides, 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate as they finish cooking.
  • Keep the pot on the sauté or browning function, and adjust to a moderate setting. Add the shiitake, celery, shallots, and ginger, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery begins to soften and turn bright green and the ginger becomes fragrant, about 2-1/2 minutes. Add the stock and vinegar, and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom
    of the pot, until the mixture comes to a low boil, 2 to 3 minutes. Press cancel.
  • Nestle the chicken, skin side up, into the broth in one layer, if possible, and add any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Secure the lid, and close the pressure-release valve. Select pressure cook, on the high setting. Cook for 15 minutes. Press cancel, and allow the pressure to release naturally for about 20 minutes, then hit quick release. Remove the lid carefully so that as it opens, the steam escapes away from you.
  • Meanwhile, put the remaining 1 Tbs. of peanut oil in a large skillet, and heat on medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the bok choy and a pinch of salt, and stir constantly until it softens and turns bright green, about 1 minute. Transfer the rice to a large platter, and arrange the chicken legs on top. Scatter the bok choy over the chicken, and then sprinkle
    with the diced pepper and pepper flakes. Drizzle with the sesame oil, and serve.

Slow-Cooker Instructions

  • Sear the chicken over medium-high heat as directed above. Cook the shiitake, celery, shallots, and ginger over medium-high heat as directed above. Add the stock and vinegar, and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken skin side up, the vegetables, and any liquid to the cooker. Secure the lid (if working in a multicooker, open the pressure-release valve, and select slow cook). Cook on the highest setting for 2 hours. Remove the lid carefully so that as it opens, the steam escapes away from you. Cook the bok choy as directed above, and serve.


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