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 Originally made from an Italian recipe, it has morphed into our own.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

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

Vinegar-Glossed Chicken

5 / 7 votes
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.
David Leite
Servings6 to 8 servings
Calories629 kcal
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 cup best-quality red-wine vinegar
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 sprigs of 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 homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth, plus more as needed


  • 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 a couple 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. You should hear an immediate sizzle when the chicken pieces hit the pan. Don’t crowd the chicken; leave space around each piece and work in batches. Don’t move the pieces of  o it takes a couple of minutes to sear the chicken so it doesn’t stick.
  • Cook the chicken until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate while you brown the remaining batches. You may need to reduce the head a little to keep the chicken from overbrowning. The chicken won’t yet be cooked through.
  • Place all the browned chicken pieces back in the skillet. Add the chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, and the sauce is reduced, 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.
Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Adapted From

Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 629 kcalCarbohydrates: 2 gProtein: 53 gFat: 43 gSaturated Fat: 12 gMonounsaturated Fat: 18 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 213 mgSodium: 251 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Lucinda Scala Quinn. Photo © 2009 Mikkel Vang. All rights reserved.

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.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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5 from 7 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious and could not be easier. . .adding anchovies, per other cook’s recommendations added great flavor. I served this chicken over Lebanese rice and with a side of steamed broccoli – what an easy and tasty meal!!! Leftover chicken was great, too.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, cheriede. We’re so pleased that you enjoyed it.

  2. 5 stars
    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!

  3. 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!