Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chicken with vinegar sauce

Serves 6

Comfortable, warming, easy and quick - a one pot wonder for a midweek supper. You need only serve some hot potato with this dish and you're bound to find peace. What works for me here is the contrast between smooth chicken flesh and the sharp vinegary juices.

6 chicken breasts and/or thighs and drumsticks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Flour for dredging
100ml olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 anchovy fillet, mashed
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp chopped fresh sage
125ml red wine vinegar
185ml dry red or white wine

Pat the chicken pieces dry, season them with salt and pepper, and dredge them in flour, shaking off any excess. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary, and cook them, turning once, until they are golden brown and crisp on both sides – about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and pour off the fat. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the onion, celery, garlic, anchovy, and herbs and cook until softened – 4 or 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil over high heat for a minute or 2. Add the wine, bring it to boil, and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring well. Add the chicken and cook, uncovered, turning once, until tender - about 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. Put the chicken on a platter, spoon on the sauce, and serve immediately or keep warm, covered, in a warm oven easily for up to 30 minutes.