Classic Chicken in Vinegar

A classic, French country recipe. The braising of chicken in vinegar helps tenderize as well as providing a delicious tang.


  • 1 frying chicken (4-4 ½ lb), cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup (½ stick butter), divided into 2 –2 Tbsp
  • ½ cup red-wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon


  • Large iron skillet (preferred) or other large skillet with cover
  • Serving platter
  • Whisk or fork


  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add chicken pieces beginning, skin side down.
  4. Cook, turning pieces until golden brown (about 10-15 minutes).
  5. Add ¼ cup of vinegar and water to skillet: cover.
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Transfer chicken to platter.
  8. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute.
  9. Deglaze skillet with remaining ¼ cup vinegar.
  10. Increase heat to medium high.
  11. Bring to a boil and scrape pan for browned bits.
  12. Stir in tomato paste. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Remove pan from heat and whisk in 1 Tbsp at a time, the remaining 2 Tbsp butter.
  14. Pour over chicken and sprinkle with parsley and tarragon.
Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar

I made this last night for my family and the strangest thing happened — silence. My four-year-old who has just come out of the terrible threes and entered the terrible fours stopped grousing, whining and complaining. She was too busy eating. My fourteen-month-old stopped throwing food on the carpet and instead threw it in her mouth. My wife gobbled and I smiled.

Make this for your family and enjoy the silence. It doesn’t last long.

Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar

Anyone who likes this recipe as much as I do should be sure to try Marc’s Filipino Humba which is another delicious vinegar based dish.

Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar

This was really good and really easy. Thank you.

Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar

OH MY GOSH … was this good. I served this with some rice which turned out to be a real bonus as you can spoon the excess sauce over the rice.

I made one happy mistake which was to pour all the red wine vinegar in step four and then had to add even more vinegar in step 9. Next time I will do it the same way as I really loved that vinegary taste!

Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar

Great recipe John. It’s truly delicious. The only problem now is that it’s going to be tough to choose a good ol’ fashioned roast over this gorgeous dish (a roast being one of my comfort foods)!

Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar

Great recipe. Quick and easy. Everyone love this vinegar chicken.

Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar

Best chicken recipe ever! Perfect for a cold winter evening.

Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar

I was a ambivalent about this recipe, but after reading the comments I decided to give it a try. This vinegar chicken recipe is really really good. We now have a new family favorite.

I served it with wild rice made with chicken stock.

Re: Classic Chicken in Vinegar