Vinegar-Glossed Chicken

This vinegar-glossed chicken, made with economical bone-in chicken pieces, fresh rosemary, garlic, and stock, uses red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan, creating a spectacular sweet and 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 Originally made from an Italian recipe, it has morphed into our own.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 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

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 5 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
5/5 - 3 reviews
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At least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before cooking, combine the vinegar, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl and set aside.
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.
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.
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. 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. This 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.

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