December 10, 2005
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Chicken au vinaigre

Based on a Sally Schneider (How can she be remaindered? Is there no justice in the world?) recipe, this worked much better than I'd expected.

You start with a chicken (Empire Kosher in this case, educated free-range might be just as good). Salt, pepper, and then dredge in corn meal. Brown aggressively in 2T hot olive oil. Remove to plate.

Now, chop all the shallots you have on hand. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons, but that's got to be a bluff. Doesn't matter how much, just LOTS of shallots, right? Throw them into the remaining oil on moderate heat, cover for a few minutes, then uncover and turn up the heat and saute them until brown.

Add 3/4c sherry (if drier than amantillado, which my cheap amantillado was, add 1T honey). Boil a couple of minutes, reduce it by half. Add 1/4c sherry vinegar. (I used up my 1/4c of sherry vinegar already, and my strawberry vinegar from Salzburg and my apple balsamic from Vienna are too precious, so I figured pear vinegar would do, and it did, very well). Boil a couple of minutes. Add the legs and thighs, cover, cook 7 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken, cook 20 minutes.


Follow with Bourdain's Alsatian Apple Tarte, which works just fine with mass-produced Pillsbury pie crust. The excellent is the enemy of the good.