Poulet au vinaigre is one of the classic dishes of the cuisine of the French town of Lyon. Every bouchon there has its own house recipe, so there are quite a few variations of it. Legendary chef Paul Bocuse, a native of Lyon suburb Collognes-au-Mont-d’Or, has created a minimalist version of this dish using only chicken, vinegar, butter and shallots. It is almost shockingly simple, but when made with high quality ingredients, it is absolutely fantastic.
I took this recipe as a base but instead of white wine vinegar I used Italian aceto balsamico. This dish is all about the vinegar, so why not try and use a vinegar that is famous for its richness in taste?
Warning/Promise: This recipe uses plenty of butter. Of course you non’t need to eat everything of the sauce. If you manage to resist.
Ingredients (serves 3 to 4):
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 250 ml balsamic vinegar
- 100 + 50 g cold butter
- 100 g shallots, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
Time needed: 45 minutes
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat 100 grams of the butter and gently sautee the chicken pieces on both sides until they have a nice golden colour. The butter should not turn brown. Cover the skillet and cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. [Note: if you dont’t have an ovenproof lid for your skillet you can also cook it on the stove top on low heat.]
Turn off the oven, remove the chicken pieces from the skillet, arrange them on a plate and put it into the oven to keep warm with the remaining heat. The butter and rendered meat juices remain in the skillet. If you have cooked the chicken on the stovetop, only preheat the oven to 90 degrees in the first place, and obviously don’t turn off the oven after cooking.
Heat the skillet on the stove top and let the juices largely evaporate. Sautee the shallots until they become soft and then deglaze with the vinegar. Reduce by half on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add more salt to taste now. Turn off the heat and wait until the sauce is not boiling anymore. Whisk in the remainig butter (taken directly from the refrigerator) in small chunks until dissolved.
Serve with pasta, rice or simply bread. Recommended drink: Beaujolais wine.