Vinegar-Glossed Chicken

This vinegar-glossed chicken is made with inexpensive bone-in chicken pieces, rosemary, and garlic, and relies on red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan and create a spectacular sweetly sour pan sauce.

Chicken pieces in a sauce of vinegar, garlic, rosemary in a white plate, knife and fork on the side

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 Originally made from an Italian recipe, it has morphed into our own.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 chicken, alchemy occurs. The vinegar deglazes the brown bits and reduces into a syrup, permeating the chicken with an agrodolce (sweet and sour) flavor. The dish is even better the day after it’s made.–Lucinda Scala Quinn

Vinegar-Glossed Chicken

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 5 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
5/5 - 4 reviews
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Ingredients

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Directions

At least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl.

Thoroughly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a 14-inch skillet (or two smaller skillets) over medium-high heat and swirl in enough 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 the chicken on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Regulate the heat so it stays high but doesn’t burn the chicken.

Place all the browned back in the skillet. 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. Tilt the skillet to swirl the sauce and stir as the vinegar evaporates and the mixture reduces to a glaze, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Originally published January 16, 2010.

Print RecipeBuy the Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    Recipe Testers Reviews

    We really liked this dish. It definitely fed men and boys, which is a big plus as far as I’m concerned. It was also delicious, another big plus.

    I did kind of wish there was more sauce in the end because the sauce was so, so tasty. But that could easily be remedied by doubling the sauce recipes. (We’re a big sauce family.)

    I would actually try this same dish with boneless, skinless chicken breasts when I’m pressed for time, which is just about always. I think it could be equally great that way.

    If you need something to call your guests to the table, just let them inhale this enticing aroma! They won’t be able to resist. This chicken is flavorful, lovely to look at on the plate, and even better in the mouth. The red-wine vinegar infused with some garlic and fresh rosemary would be good on just about anything, and on this chicken it is perfect. There’s just enough zing to bring out the great taste of the cooked chicken that’s still juicy and moist inside while retaining some degree of crispness on the outside.

    You won’t be disappointed. It’s an ideal recipe for a dinner party—the smooth, vibrant taste of the dish will elevate the entire evening.

    HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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    Comments

    1. For our Easter Brunch my Nona used Cornish Game Hens for her Chicken Frico. She’d thaw them out and cut into separate pieces (leg, breasts, thighs etc,) Same recipe as yours after that. She came to America when she was 16 years old, a butcher’s daughter. She prepared and served beautiful meals as you might imagine.

      1. Victoria, thank you for sharing this memory of yours. So many times food brings me back to memories of my grandma and her simple yet perfect approach to cooking. I can only imaging the magnificence of what she put on the table…and the wonderful company of those who sat around it with you. Again, we appreciate you reminding us of the lineage of recipes and we hope you enjoy this one!

    2. This is very similar to a dish from the Philippines called adobo…Many recipes (my family’s included) includes soy, which is what the anchovies commented on above would add – a saltiness that’s delicious with the tanginess!

    3. I made this recipe with using 3.5 lbs of boneless and skinless chicken thighs. It was delicious. I served it with a potato. My husband says it was very tender, tasted good, and not too messy. I have to agree with him. I love the glaze it made when it cooked down. I can taste the sweet and sour in the recipe.

      I was skeptic about the recipe but seeing that I like recipes with clear directions and few ingredients, I want to take a crack at it. It did not disappoint. Plus, if I did not get rid of the chicken soon it would have gone bad. I hate wasting food and money.

      This is a great meal for everyone. The aroma of it being made is good. And the taste of the red wine vinegar is not strong at all. This is a staple recipe in my house. It was the first time using red wine vinegar.

    4. I made this over the weekend using just chicken thighs…wow! This is a fabulous recipe, simple and absolutely delicious! I served it with creamy Parmesan polenta. If you haven’t made this yet, do it and don’t be afraid to test it out on company…it presents beautifully and they’ll love it!

    5. Years ago I found a recipe called Hunter’s Chicken which was like yours with the addition of tomatoes. I loved to make it because the splash of vinegar changed the profile of the dish. Thanks for the reminder.

      The interview was terrific! I grew up in a household of women, and when I encountered “hormones” was mystified by their copious eating, hence our the nickname “Hoovers.” Thank you.

    6. Just a question to clarify—after you make the vinegar mixture, do you marinate the chicken in it for up to 2 hours and then drain and save the marinade for after you brown the chicken? It’s not clear in the instructions. Thanks much.

      1. Hi Holly, I can see how you interpreted the recipe that way. The garlic and rosemary are marinated in the vinegar and then that mixture is added to the pan during the last part cooking. I’ve edited the recipe to be clearer.

    7. I have a very similar recipe that includes anchovies, which I think are an excellent addition to the flavor profile of the dish. It also gets finished with a splash of good balsamic vinegar to smooth the edges.

    8. Hi and thanks for sharing this recipe. I am wondering why each piece of chicken should be cut in half, specifically the smaller pieces.

      1. Charlene, I checked the recipe and changed it. Simply cut only large pieces, such as breasts, in half. That direction is to assure all the pieces cook at the same time.

        1. Thanks for the quick reply. That is what I assumed, but wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing something. I look forward to trying this!

      2. I made this tonight but used balsamic vinegar and it was quite good.

        I kept the garlic at a medium, not a fine mince and I really liked getting a bite of the marinated garlic here and there…so yum.

        I think I might prefer this with all chicken thighs. I cut the pieces small like you said but I dislike the way cutting anywhere other than the joint leaves the occasional bone shard.

        Oh final thing, I threw in a bunch of mushrooms with the vinegar at the last step. They kind of got lost in the mix.

        1. I, too, sometimes prefer just to use chicken thighs, for the same reason as well, as to assure everyone little body at the table that his or her brother did NOT get the best piece.

          What type mushroom did you use? I love to plunk mushrooms into dishes like this, but I sometimes find that they just don’t add much as you discovered here. GG Mora (comments below) adds anchovy which might be a better addition. Think I am going to try that next time–I’ll let you know if it changes the flavor or if it is indeed the magical finishing touch. Thanks for sharing your additions and hints!
          Karen

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