Chicken in Vinegar (Poulet au Vinaigre)

Here is a favorite French chicken saute.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut in 8 pieces
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs. parsley, chopped


Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat enough butter and oil to lightly coat the bottom of a 10 inch saute pan. When the bubbles have subsided, add 3 or 4 pieces of chicken, skin side down. Brown on all sides over medium-high heat, as each piece browns, remove from pan. When all the pieces are out of the pan, quickly add 1/4 cup of the red wine vinegar, and the water, return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook about 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a serving platter, and keep warm, uncovered. Add the garlic to the saute pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the rest of the red wine vinegar and bring to a boil, scraping up all the sediment in the pan. Add the tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste. This sauce should be peppery. At this time swirl in the remaining butter. Spoon sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.