Thursday, June 24, 2010

chicken + vinegar: weird in theory, delicious in reality.

I know, I know - it sounds disgusting. But it isn't. It really, really isn't. This recipe was recommended to me by my british uncle who thinks all manner of odd things are delicious, as the british are known to do. I was skeptical initially, but now I'm in the club and ready to make every other recipe in the cookbook. It's a really incredible little book called Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson. Very Alice Waters, it is organized alphabetically by ingredient and just a few choice dishes for each. This dish may sound intimidating, but you are basically braising a cut up chicken with tomatoes, and then deglazing with vinegar and chicken broth. Whisk a little butter in at the end and what you are left with is, in a word, divine. It's savory and chickeny and just the most perfect bit tart. I can't wait to make it again.

Poulet Saute au Vinaigre

4 lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
salt and pepper
1/2 c. butter
2 tbsp olive oil
6 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped*
1 cup best quality red wine vinegar
2 heaped tbsp chopped parsley

Season the pieces of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 4 tbsp of the butter and the olive oil in a flameproof casserole until just turning nut-brown (I used an enameled dutch oven). Add the chicken and fry gently, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over. Add the chopped tomatoes and carry on frying and setwing until the tomato has lost its moisture and is dark red and sticky. Pour in the vinegar and reduce by simmering until almost disappeared. Add the stock, and simmer again until reduced by half. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep warm. Whisk the remaining butter into the sauce to give it a glossy finish. Add 1 tbsp chopped parsley, pour over the chicken and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve with plain boiled potatoes.

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