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Vinegar-Glossed Chicken

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This dish has been in heavy rotation in our home for at least 20 years. Originally made from an Italian recipe, it has morphed into our own. When the rosemary and vinegar are added to the pan of golden chicken, alchemy occurs. The vinegar deglazes the brown bits and reduces into a syrup, permeating the chicken with an agrodolce (sweet-and-sour) flavor. There’s no better accompaniment than polenta; the readily available instant kind is handy for time-pressed cooks. Rice, pasta, or bread will also work—as long as there is something to sop up the sauce. The dish is even better the day after it’s made.–Lucinda Scala Quinn

LC Just Like New Again Note

As author Lucinda Scala Quinn notes, this simple, reliable chicken dish invariably draws kudos, regardless of any of countless sides that you decide to serve alongside it. This versatility is a godsend, enabling you to rely on this recipe perhaps a little more than you ought, knowing that it seems just a little new again each time you switch up its accoutrement.

Vinegar-Glossed Chicken Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 5 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup best-quality red-wine vinegar
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 1 tablespoon minced)
  • 5 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (large pieces, such as breast, should be cut in half)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed

Directions

  • 1. At least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl and set aside.
  • 2. Thoroughly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a 14-inch skillet (or two smaller skillets) over high heat and swirl in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Don’t crowd the chicken; leave space around each piece. Work in batches if necessary. You should hear an immediate sizzle when the chicken pieces hit the pan. Don’t move them; it takes a couple of minutes to sear the chicken so it doesn’t stick. Brown all sides; this will take 10 minutes per batch. Regulate the heat so it stays high but does not burn the chicken. Place all the browned chicken back in the skillet.
  • 3. Add the chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat, simmer, and reduce for 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the heat to high and pour in the vinegar mixture. Swirl the pan and stir around as the vinegar evaporates to form a simmering glaze, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight and reheat with a little extra broth.
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