Food & Drink

Chicken with Red Wine Vinegar

This recipe is inspired by one in a Paula Wolfert cookbook and is a rustic, Lyonnais dish.


One of my favorite cookbook authors and food writers is Paula Wolfert. My copies of her books The Cooking of South-West France, and Paula Wolfert’s World of Food are well-worn and stained with food and grease, an indication of how much I use and love them. Here is my take on a favorite Paula Wolfert recipe – chicken thighs in red wine vinegar sauce – a rustic, Lyonnais dish that is simply wonderful


  • 1 scant cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp crème fraîche
  • 3 Tbsp chopped tarragon


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, broth, honey and tomato paste to a boil, stirring well. Simmer the vinegar sauce until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes.
  2. Heat the butter over moderate heat in a large, heavy skillet. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, skin side down. Cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the garlic and shallots to the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the wine; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add the vinegar sauce and bring to a simmer.
  4. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Cover and simmer over low heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to individual plates or to a large serving platter.
  5. Add the crème fraîche to the skillet, stir, and boil for 3 minutes. Add the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.
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