Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cider Vinegar-Braised Chicken Thighs

I love all things vinegar.  Vinegar based BBQ sauces, vinaigrette salad dressings, love them all.  When I came across this recipe in Food & Wine February 2011, I knew it was one I had to try.  Sweet Harold's eyes watered a little every time he passed through the kitchen while the chicken was braising, but I was in vinegar heaven.  It mellows out beautifully during cooking and just leaves a nice zing!

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds chicken thighs, fat trimmed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 T. all purpose flour
1 cup cider vinegar
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. chopped flat leaf parsley
2 T. snipped chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large enameled cast iron casserole, heat the olive oil.  Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add them to the casserole, skin side down.  Cook over moderately high heat, in batches if necessary, turning once, until golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a platter.

Spoon off all but 2 T of the fat in the casserole.  Add the carrots, garlic and leek and cook over lower heat until crisp tender, 5 minutes. 

Add the flour and stir for 1 minute.  Add the vinegar and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until thickened, 3 minutes.

Add the broth, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Nestle the chicken in the sauce, skin side up. 

Transfer the casserole to the oven and braise the chicken for about 50 minutes until cooked through.

Preheat the broiler. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet, skin side up.  Broil on the middle rack of the oven until the skin is crisped and golden, about 4 minutes.

Simmer the sauce over moderate heat until reduced to about 4 cups, 10 minutes.  Stir in the butter until melted.  Add the parsley and chives and season the sauce with salt and pepper.  Return the chicken to the casserole, skin side up; and serve over buttered rice or couscous.


  1. Very pretty. Those thighs multiplied from picture to picture! I like a tart vinegar taste but Spousal is not as big a fan. Was this very tangy?

  2. HA! There were so many I browned them in batches and then put the whole "thigh group" in the braising pot together. To my taste buds, it was no more tangy than a standard vinaigrette. I'm certain it would work great to cut back on the vinegar some and add more chicken broth. Try it and give me your thoughts please.

  3. I didn't have leeks so I used purple cabbage and the chicken was good, my cabbage didn't have a lot of vinegar taste, I used 1/2 cup, but the chicken was good. It was pretty. I will make it with leeks sometime.