Food & dining

Seasonal Recipes

Recipe for chicken with sherry vinegar and tarragon

Valerie Ryan for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

Typically made with white or red wine vinegar, this classic French dish, called poulet au vinaigre, uses sherry and sherry vinegar, an idea from Britain’s beloved chef Delia Smith. Cut up a chicken yourself (it’s cheaper that way) or buy it cut up.

1chicken (3 to 3½ pounds), cut into 8 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings,
2 breasts)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon olive oil
2tablespoons butter
1medium onion, finely chopped
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
½cup sherry vinegar
1cup sherry
1can (14 ounces) whole
tomatoes, drained well and chopped
2tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped
3tablespoons creme fraiche
Extra sprigs fresh tarragon (for garnish)

1. Set the oven at 200 degrees.

2. Pat the chicken dry. Halve the breasts crosswise to make 4 pieces. Sprinkle all the pieces with salt and pepper.


3. In a skillet large enough to hold all the pieces in one layer, heat the oil over medium high. Add the butter and when it melts, add the chicken, skin side down. Brown for 3 minutes, or until golden. Turn and brown the other sides for 3 minutes more. Transfer the breasts and wings to a plate.

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4. Lower the heat to medium. Cover the skillet and cook the leg pieces for 10 minutes. Return the breasts and wings to the pan. Cover and cook 20 minutes more or until the thickest pieces of chicken register 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and keep warm in the oven.

5. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan, leaving the browned solids on the bottom. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vinegar and sherry and bring to a boil, stirring the mixture to dissolve the browned solids. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces by half.

6. Stir in the tomatoes and tarragon, simmer for 5 minutes more. Whisk in the creme fraiche and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Tip any juices that accumulated in the baking dish into the sauce.

7. Serve the chicken with the sauce, garnished with tarragon sprigs. Valerie Ryan