Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vinegar Braised Chicken

This is the second recipe I tested from the Michael Pollan article in Oprah magazine (April 2013).  This recipe was implemented exactly as it was written in the book.  It was later I improvised, but I'll get to that!

Note:  Mr. Pollan suggests seasoning the chicken with salt a day in advance.  I did it for about 6 hours and it worked great.

One 3.5 pound chicken, cut into pieces
2.5 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided use
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1.5 cups red wine vinegar (no, that is not a typo)
1 cup chicken stock (or broth)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup canned whole packed plum tomatoes, drained (I used chopped fire-roasted tomatoes because it is what I had on hand)
8 cloves garlic
4 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1. Preheat oven to 300.  Season chicken with 2 teaspoons of salt (or omit if you have already done this in advance) and pepper.  Heat oil in a 5-6 quart Dutch oven or wide, overnproof pot over medium-high heat.  Arrange half the chicken in pot in a single layer and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.  Transfer the chicken to the same plate.
2.  Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 2 minutes.  Add vinegar and cook until much of teh acrid aroma has dissipated, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add broth and 1/2 cup water, bring to a vigorous simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, 3 to 5 minutes.
3.  Whisk in tomato paste and remaining 1/2 tsp salt.  Add tomatoes, then arrange chicken in pot, skin side up, pouring over any accumulated juices from the plate.  Tuck garlic, thyme, and bay leaves in liquid.  Cover pot snugly with foil, then lid, and transfer to the oven.  cook 1 hour and 15 minutes, until chicken is very tender.
4. Let rest 30 minutes.  Discard thyme and bayleaves.  Scatter parsley on top and serve.

chicken is browned in the Dutch oven

First batch transferred to a plate

After chicken is browned and removed from the Dutch oven,
the shallots, vinegar, and tomato paste are added

chicken is placed back into the liquid ingredients

garlic, thyme, and bay leaves are added

base is covered with foil, lid applied

Dutch oven is placed in oven to braise at 300 degrees for 75 to 90 minutes

Result:  tender, flavorful (tangy!) chicken.

*I reserved the liquid ingredients in a separate container and chilled.
The leftover chicken was chilled separately.
The following day, I removed the chicken meat from the bone, skin and bones discarded.

I heated the liquid ingredients at a low to medium setting in a deep pan.  After allowing the mixture to reduce about 30% I removed about 1/4 cup into a jar to make a slurry by adding 3 tablespoons cream and one teaspoon corn starch.  This was shaken to mix and added back into the liquid to thicken.
I added the chicken (that I tore into shredded pieces) back into the mixture.  I added one tablespoon of my homemade Garam Masala (at the end of that post).  After allowing the mixture to heat through until steaming, I served it.  This mixture would be PERFECT served with rice.  Yummy delicious!  I think this was even better than the original dish, but it was the first dish that got me to this one and it is a great way to use the leftovers.
Try it!!

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