Guest Recipe: Braised Chicken with Sherry Vinegar

We found this recipe by Alexandra Stafford at Alexandra's Kitchen, and were impressed by it on many levels: for one, it just looks absolutely delicious -- vinegar is an excellent braising liquid for meats. It also makes great use of pantry ingredients, which is handy if you don't feel like shopping. And finally, she's included a tutorial for breaking down chickens -- see it here if you need a primer.

Serve it with noodles or rice or boiled potatoes, or just bread: anything that will serve as a sauce vehicle. Enjoy!

Braised Chicken with Sherry Vinegar
3 lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces (Stafford uses only the thighs and drumsticks and leaves the skin on.)
kosher salt, plus more to taste
freshly cracked pepper, plus more to taste
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive, grapeseed or peanut oil
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
2/3 cup medium-sweet sherry (I use Harvey's Bristol Cream dry sherry)
1/3 cup sherry vinegar (sub in balsamic or red wine vinegar if needed)
1 to 1-1/2 tsp sugar
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup drained and coarsely chopped peeled plum tomatoes (I like Pomi Chopped Tomatoes)
1 tbsp dijon mustard

Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet and sear chicken until golden on each side. Add more oil as needed waorking in batches.

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Reduce heat and sauté shallots, covered until softened; uncover and sauté until golden brown. Add sherry and deglaze; reduce by half. Add vinegar and sugar and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, mustard, salt and pepper. Add chicken thighs and legs, partially cover and cook 7 mins. Add breasts and wings (if using), cover and simmer 20 mins or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate.

Simmer sauce 10 mins or until slightly thickened and flavors are rich and mellow. (Cook your noodles now, too.) Return chicken to pan and heat through. Serve and enjoy.

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