Jacques Pepin's Chicken in Vinegar

Check Out This French Classic

Famed chef Jacques Pepin whips up cheese soufflé.
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Chicken in vinegar is a bistro specialty in Lyon. The spicy, piquant sauce of vinegar, garlic, and tomatoes has an assertive flavor that complements the bird well. This is good served hot as well as warm on a buffet.


  • 1 chicken (about 3 ½ pounds) cut into 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breasts halved)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 ½ cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or basil
  • Cooking Directions

    Sprinkle the chicken pieces with half the salt and pepper.

    Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet. When the butter is hot, add the chicken leg pieces skin side down, and brown for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Turn the pieces and brown for another 3 minutes on the other side. Add the breasts, skin side down, cover tightly, and cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm at the back of the stove or in a 160 degree oven. (as soon as chicken cools somewhat, you can remove the bones from the breasts – they will pull off easily – add the pieces of backbone, if you left it on. It's a little more elegant to remove the bones, but the chicken can certainly be served with them)

    Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute, without browning it. Add the wine vinegar and water and bring to a boil, stirring to melt all the solidified juices. Boil for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and remaining salt and pepper (the sauce should be peppery). Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes to thicken the sauce. (if the sauce separates, emulsify it by whisking in 2 tablespoons warm water)

    Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with herbs, and serve.

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Recipe courtesy Jacques Pepin of Essential Pepin.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: parsely, chicken, salt, red wine vinegar

    Course: Dinner, Main Course

    More Info: Kid Friendly

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