Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chicken Thighs Braised in Red Wine Vinegar Sauce

Adapted from a recipe by Paula Wolfert on FoodandWine.com
Serves 4 to 6
Chicken Thighs in Red Wine Vinegar Sauce
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar (I really like this brand.)
3/4 cup chicken stock (And for chicken stock, I really like this.)
1 1/2 Tbl honey
1 1/2 Tbl tomato paste
2 Tbl plus 2 Tbl unsalted butter, divided
2 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
8 large chicken thighs (with skin and bone), trimmed of excess skin and fat
4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
4 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup plus 2 Tbl dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine the vinegar, chicken stock, honey and tomato paste in a medium-sized sauce pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.  Simmer until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Set aside.
In a large heavy skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels, then season liberally with salt and pepper.  Add half of the chicken to the hot pan, skin side down.  Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until well-browned.  Flip, and brown the opposite sides as well.  Transfer the chicken to a plate, placing them skin-side up.  Repeat with the remaining chicken thighs.
Pour out and discard the fat in the pan, but try to leave all the browned bits in the pan.  Add the remaining 2 Tbl butter and melt over medium heat.  Add the sliced shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the white wine and boil until reduced to roughly 1/3 cup.  Add the vinegar sauce and stir to combine.  Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up.  Cover and gently simmer over low heat until cooked through, about 30 minutes. 
Transfer the chicken to serving plates, then add the cream and tarragon to the sauce.  Stir to combine, then taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken thighs and serve immediately.