Poulet au Vinaigre

This is a classic chicken dish from Lyon, with variations. In some versions it is a textbook example of a sauté using a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces. Others treat it as a braise. We like to give bone -in, skin – on thighs the same treatment. All versions call for red wine vinegar. Some incorporate, tomatoes and aromatics. You could use tarragon instead of thyme, even stir in a tablespoon of Edmond Fallot Tarragon Dijon Mustard. In colder weather you would substitute tomato paste for fresh tomato and perhaps enrich the sauce with crème fraiche or heavy cream. Steamed rice is the traditional accompaniment. As things cool down, mashed potatoes or more correctly pommes purée would be more than acceptable.


  • 1 3-4 lb. frying chicken cut into 8 pieces* or 3 lbs. of bone- in, skin- on thighs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomato, peeled, cored, seeded and diced
  • leaves from a sprig of thyme
  • I tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Chopped parsley to garnish


Time: N/A
Yield: 8 servings

Prepare the chicken

  • Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan large enough to hold the chicken pieces.
  • Brown the dark meat for 2-3 minutes per side and then add the breasts, skin side down for 3 more minutes.
  • Flip the breast over, and salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Cover the pan and drop the heat to medium-low for 15- 20 minutes. Flip them after 5 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken to a heat safe platter and put it in the oven to stay warm while you make the sauce.

Prepare the sauce

  • Turn the heat under the pan to high.
  • Give it a minute to heat up and the pan juices to concentrate. Add the shallots.
  • When they soften add the chopped tomatoes and the thyme. When the juices in the pan are nearly dry, deglaze the pan with the red wine vinegar.
  • Whisk vigorously to dissolve all the solids.
  • Continue to boil and stir until the sauce is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken to coat.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley.
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