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Pollo all’Aceto (Chicken in Vinegar Sauce)

pollo all aceto platedThis dish is made in various ways throughout Italy and France.  In France, it is bistro cooking; and in Italy, we would see it in various trattorias.  It is simple, yet the result is “warming” and welcoming. Make this for your friends and they will thank you.

  • 3 lb. chicken parts – – skin-on thighs and legs recommended
  • 8 Tbl. butter (one stick cut in half)
  • 3 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
  • 1 cup good quality red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup good quality chicken stock
  • 1 14.5 oz. can organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, optional, plus more for garnish if desired

Directions

Season the chicken with salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil and 4 Tbl. of butter in a skillet until butter is at a light foam

Sauté the chicken pieces, skin side down for approximately 5 minutes, then turn and sauté for an additional 3 – 4 minutes.  You are looking to caramelize to develop flavor.

Remove the chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

Drain all but 1 Tbl. of fat from the skillet.

Standing back from the skillet, carefully pour the red wine vinegar into it stirring to remove the flavorful fond from the bottom of the pan (deglazing).

Place the chicken pieces back into the pan and continue cooking until the vinegar is reduced by half.  While the vinegar reduces, occasionally turn the chicken so it becomes glazed with the reduction sauce.

Place the rosemary sprigs into the pan so they can flavor the sauce and add the drained tomatoes and the chicken stock.  Lightly bring the seasoning back into balance by adding just another sprinkling of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Once the sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.

Cover and allow to cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken to warm plates and remove/discard the cooked rosemary sprigs from the pan.

Turn up the heat and reduce the sauce further while tasting for balanced seasoning.

Once the sauce has reduced, turn off the heat and mount the sauce with the remaining butter stirring it in until it rounds out the sauce creating a glossy texture.

Spoon the tomato and sauce over the chicken pieces to serve, garnishing with a rosemary sprig if desired.

Enjoy.

Serves two hungry, or four as an amuse bouche.

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