Breakdown Chicken (Chicken Braised with Onions in Sherry Vinegar)

December 21, 2009
0 Ratings
  • Makes enough food for 3 worse-for-the-wear people
Author Notes

This chicken has long been melt-down food for me. When I'm so tired/angry/frustrated/too overwhelmed to think, I want to eat this, over buttered egg noodles, and drink. Heavily. (Admittedly, sometimes that drink is tea, but more often, it's bourbon.) This stuff is good. Really good. I recommend it -- even if your world isnt' falling apart. —Helen

What You'll Need
  • olive oil
  • 6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, halved horizontally and sliced into thin moons
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pieces, and kept cold
  1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large, shallow, heavy pan with a top. (I use the Le Creuset braiser and it's brilliant.) While that's heating, dry your chicken thighs, and aggressively season them with salt and pepper on both sides. When the oil is appropriately hot (which is to say, not smoking, but hot enough so it would hurt), add the chicken thighs, skin down. Forget about them for at least 5 minutes before trying to turn them. If the edges of the pan are burning, turn down the heat. If, when you go to move them (not before 5 min) they don't move easily, back off. Properly browned chicken thighs will come off with ease. Once you've browned the skin side, flip them over and brown the other side, but only for a minute or two. Remove thighs to a plate, and set aside.
  2. Add the sliced onion to the pan, and cook until softened and beginning to brown. Add a splash or two of the chicken stock, and scrape up all the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back into the pan, and pour the stock in so that it comes just over halfway up the thighs. Add the vinegar. Stir it around as best you can. Bring to a boil. Cover. Lower to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is done (depending on your thighs, could be 15 min, could be 25.)
  3. Remove the chicken, set aside. Bring the sauce back to a boil, and reduce until slightly thickened. Lower the heat, and drop the knobs of cold butter in, and swirl until they're melted. Serve the sauce over the chicken, preferably over buttered egg noodles.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Javier Lopez Perez
    Javier Lopez Perez
  • mt97

2 Reviews

Javier L. December 29, 2012
Authentic Spanish "Sherry Vinegar" --
mt97 February 15, 2010

I made this dish tonight and the flavor was crazy. The vinegar was tangy and sweet. The onions melted and the chicken was great. I can definitely see (taste?) how this dish can comfort the weary and downtrodden. Great recipe! I do have a question - how thick do you get your sauce? I reduced it by more than a half and the sauce was pretty loose, which isn't a problem, but I'm just curious if you get more thickness.

Once again, great dish!