Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Shallots

vinegar braised chicken - final 4

Christened my new All-Clad Dutch Oven tonight. Hoo boy, am I pleased with this purchase. First off—when all was said and done, I just barely swiped the surface with soap and water. And it glistened. You have no idea how happy that makes me, especially as someone who cautiously, sweat-breakingly follows all the rules of pan care.

And then there was the chicken, crackling with the inheritance of olive oil, bacon, onion, shallot, and garlic on the pan’s surface.

Braised meats please crowds. That’s what I’ve learned—among other lessons—in my years of cooking. Enticingly browned on the borders, dripping flavor within.

Tonight I braised with red wine and balsamic vinegars, following a tip from Bon Appetit. Every step of this recipe, I could see gorgeous flavors seeping into the mix. Very satisfying. Aromatic too.

Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Shallots (adapted from Bon Appetit)
Serves 4.

Ingredients:
1 medium yellow onion, outer peel removed
5 medium shallots
1, 5 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tbsp. herbes de Provence
Salt & pepper
8 oz. bacon, sliced into 1 in. pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken stock

Method:
1. Place onion and shallots into a large saucepan and cover with water. Salt well and then bring to a boil. Cook for 6–8 minutes, then drain and cool. Slice off ends of each and carefully peel. Quarter the onion.
2. In a glass baking pan, combine chicken pieces with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Toss to coat.
3. Heat up the other 2 tbsp. olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 8–10 minutes, rendering fat. Remove bacon using a slotted spoon and reserve in a large bowl.
4. Add onion pieces and shallots to the pan. Cook for another 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic cloves and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring often. Use same slotted spoon to transfer all solids to the bowl with the bacon.
5. Brown the chicken pieces in two batches, 5–7 minutes on each side. Transfer to the bowl with other ingredients when done.
6. Drain fat from pan. Then add vinegars and return heat to medium-high, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan. (Take care not to use metal utensils if also using All-Clad.) Bring to a boil and return chicken, bacon, onion, garlic, and shallots to the pan. Add bay leaves and chicken stock, then return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, partially cover, and let cook for 40 minutes.
7. Remove chicken, onion, garlic, and shallots from pan into a large serving platter. Remove bay leaf from sauce and then ladle sauce over chicken. Serve.

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