A Universe-Altering Chicken Made for Riesling

October 22, 2015

The concept is simple: Spin a batch of aioli, drown said-aioli in Champagne vinegar, then greenify with a superfluity of savory herbs. Marinate chicken in the mixture and voilà—you have my favorite chicken recipe.

When your guests arrive or you return home tired from work, simply remove the chicken from the marinade, and cook. Even (over)charred on the grill, the results are juicy, the chicken zingy and bright from vinegar and herbs. You may remember this chicken from when Jenny Steinhauer wrote about it's universe-altering qualities and it's just so good we had to return to it. The recipe is the rare confluence of un-mess-upable and remarkably delicious. Serve the chicken as is, or with generous spoonfuls of garlicy pistou.  

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I normally use the whole batch of aioli in the marinade (although reserving half, as the creator of the recipe wssmom instructs, is ideal for next-day leftover sandwich slathering). I also routinely increase the herbage to 1/4 cup (or even more) per herb. In the winter, I cook this chicken in the oven. It's wonderful both hot and cold—and best served with a heavy-handed glass of dry riesling.

Finger-Lickin' Finger Lakes Chicken

Serves 4

For the fresh herb aioli:

1 large organic egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minched
1 cup grapeseed oil
Pinch sea salt, plus more to taste
1 cup Champagne vinegar (yes, 1 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon minched fresh rosemary sprigs
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

For the Finger Lakes chicken:

2 whole organic chicken breasts, split so you have 4 nice-sized pieces
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh herb aioli

See the entire recipe (and save and print it) here.

What's your go-to chicken and wine pairing? Tell us in the comments below!

There are 3 million chicken recipes on the internet. We're here to show you the good ones. Is there an undiscovered Food52 chicken recipe you love? Send us a paragraph or two at [email protected] about why you love it, and it could be featured.

Photo by Sarah Shatz

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Ilana Weinberg Sinclair
    Ilana Weinberg Sinclair
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  • Cristina Sciarra
    Cristina Sciarra
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.


Ilana W. October 24, 2015
I have no champagne vinegar. Can I sub red wine (or dare I ask, plain ol' regular?) in the recipe?
Cristina S. October 24, 2015
I would use regular white wine vinegar if you have it. I've never tried red or regular!
Two T. October 23, 2015
Please share your plan for cooking it in the oven! Would love to try that as I don't have a grill
Cristina S. October 24, 2015
I cook in the oven at 425F. The timing depends on what part of the chicken I'm using, but normally about 30-40 minutes.
ChefJune October 22, 2015
Best wine for chicken? Depends upon how I'm cooking the chick-a-lick. For reds, I prefer softer wines like Bourgogne Rouge, St. Emilion, Cabernet Francs, cru Beaujolais. For whites - almost anything based on the seasoning. For my Pistou-Roast Chicken, I like to splurge on a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape = but now that you mention it, I'll bet an Alsatian Riesling would be delicious.