One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Sherry Vinegar Sauce

October 12, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This recipe is featured in the story, The One-Pot Chicken I’ve Been Making on Repeat for a Decade, sponsored by Bosch.

Adapted from a favorite recipe in Sally Schneider's A New Way to Cook. Having learned from Diana Henry's Moroccan Chicken and Rice recipe that the chicken need not be browned before throwing everything in the oven, I tried the method with Sally's chicken. It worked beautifully. The only trick is to skim the fat off the sauce at the end while the chicken rests, which leaves you with a tasty, rich, concentrated sauce, perfect for mopping up with bread. I like serving this with a green salad on the side.
Alexandra Stafford

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hrs


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 to 2 shallots, thinly sliced to yield a heaping 1/4 cup
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 to 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 to 3 Roma tomatoes, diced to yield 1 cup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup Sherry, such as Harvey's Bristol Cream, or white wine
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar or other
  • 2 cups water
  • bread for serving
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the shallots and immediately reduce the heat to medium. Add a pinch of salt, and sauté until the shallots are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a large bowl. Pat dry. Season all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the mustard and cook for 30 seconds, stirring to incorporate it. Add the sherry, sherry vinegar, and water and bring to a simmer. Transfer the chicken pieces to the pan skin side up. Transfer pan to the oven and roast for 40 to 50 minutes or until the skin is evenly golden brown.
  4. Remove pan from the oven, and transfer chicken to a plate to rest. Pour juices from the pan into a large bowl or large liquid measure. Let liquids sit for a minute or two until the fat rises to the surface. Use a spoon or ladle to remove fat. Taste juices. Adjust with salt or pepper. Return juices and chicken to the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer. Serve chicken with plenty of juices pooling all around—I like using shallow bowls for this one. Serve with crusty bread, if you wish.

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Reviews (58) Questions (0)

58 Reviews

Eddie S. October 15, 2018
Hi, how much fluid should be in the pan? Should it almost cover the chicken?
Jean A. October 6, 2018
We made this last night. It was deeeeeelish! The only change I made was that I used chicken stock instead of water. Next time, I would reduce the water/stock by a half cup just to expose the chicken a little more; I broiled for the last 5-10 minutes to try and brown the skin, but would try to get more chicken exposed. Or, I could try to cook it all in a larger dish. Hmmmm. Thank you for a true keeper!
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 8, 2018
So happy to hear this! And I think you could do either—cut back the liquid/use a larger pan—to get more exposed edges. Thanks for writing in!
Kelley S. August 29, 2018
Ok, here’s my problem. If I want to make the sherry chicken at 400 degrees for an hour and also the oven roasted polenta at 350 degrees for almost an hour, how does that work? Can I roast them both at 375 and adjust cooking time? Would the thighs get crispy? Should I cook the polenta in a slow cooker or instant pot?
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 30, 2018
Such good questions. Ok, I don't think the thighs will brown properly at 375F. I have successfully made the polenta in an Instant Pot. One other thought is to start the polenta 20-30 minutes before you do the chicken, and then just finish it very slowly on the stove top. So, once you place the chicken in the oven, transfer the polenta to the stovetop. Hope that helps!
Kelley S. August 30, 2018
I don’t think the thighs will brown properly either. Ok, I think I will try finishing the polenta on the stove. I just want to make sure the polenta stays really creamy and soft. My husband is not a big fan and I’m trying to win him over! I’m making this tonight, so wish me luck! Thanks for the quick reply.
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 31, 2018
I hope you won him over! And I hope the timing all worked out well for you.
Diane August 23, 2018
I made this recipe last night and loved it. Really easy and very tasty. I read the comments about Bristol cream being too sweet but wanted to try it as written the first time. The sauce was fabulous and the chicken tender and moist. I cooked it in the oven for 40 mins, and then put under the broiler for a few mins to crisp up the chicken. It was perfect. Oops I forgot, I didn’t remember to do step 4. This didn’t seem to be a problem. I didn’t notice the sauce being too greasy. I served it with steamed broccoli ( I know boring) and toasted baguette rubbed with fresh garlic . Delicious 😋 I will definitely make it again.
coleman August 22, 2018
Mashed taters!! Maybe grits.
Sam C. August 22, 2018
I was just wondering what would be a simple and easy side dish for this because I'm planning on making this for dinner today
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 22, 2018
I think a salad with good greens and tomatoes would be perfect, but I also love polenta, because this recipe yields a good amount of sauce. Here's Paula Wolfert's polenta recipe:
A. August 15, 2018
Wow, can't wait to try this! I'm a huge vinegar fan, and love cooking with sherry. Would like to try it with the oven baked polenta but can't find the recipe referred to by some commenters. Can you post a link? Thanks!
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 15, 2018
I use Paula Wolfert's recipe: Love it!
Ann B. August 17, 2018
I made your recipe tonight, along with the polenta recipe you shared. Both were amazing!! Thank you so much!
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 17, 2018
Yay! So happy to hear this, Ann!
Michelle H. August 15, 2018
Hi! This recipe sounds great however I’m very confused that the recipe calls for either wine or Harvey’s Bristol cream sherry. The latter is so sweet and would completely overpower the dish.. have you ever made it with the Bristol<br />cream sherry? I just don’t see it working!
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 15, 2018
Hi! I almost always use Harvey's Bristol Cream — the sweetness is nice as the sauce has a fair amount of vinegar, so the two balance each other out. That said, I've used wine with success — the sauce comes out a little less sweet, but it's still really nice and flavorful. You can always correct the flavor/seasonings at the end with a pinch of sugar or more salt, etc.
michelle August 15, 2018
Thank you for your quick reply! So helpful and I will definitely make this recipe!
coleman August 15, 2018
Had the same concerns. I think I'll use either a medium dry sherry or a not-so-dry white wine...Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Gewurztraminer.
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 15, 2018
It's a very forgiving recipe! So many wines can work and depending on what you use — something more sweet, something more savory — the sauce will vary in flavor, but as noted above, you can adjust the flavor of the sauce at the end. All of those wines sound great. Hope you like it!
Linda M. August 14, 2018
How about using dry vermouth as a substitute for the white wine/sherry?
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 14, 2018
nbfox61 August 14, 2018
Hi there! Living through a kitchen renovation and have no oven. Would this recipe work with a slow cooker? I have an electric skillet but no oven.
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 14, 2018
We went through that last winter ... it's such a pain, but so worth it. Hope you get your kitchen back soon. You could make this in a slow cooker for sure, and I think the flavor will be great. You will not get any crispiness with the skin, but the meat will be super flavorful and tender. I can't really advise re liquid, but I would just try it without making any adjustments. After the chicken cooks, you could still pour the sauce into a liquid measure, let the fat rise, and skim it off. If you like it and make it again, you'll know if you need to reduce the liquid by any amount. Good luck!
nbfox61 August 14, 2018
Janet S. August 11, 2018
Delicious! I made this twice this week!
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 14, 2018
Robin H. August 7, 2018
I think I'm going to use a white wine for this.
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 14, 2018
coleman August 5, 2018
Alexandra,<br />Thanks for the reply. Going to do the recipe with a cream sherry, but I won't spring ($$) for Harvey's!!!
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 6, 2018
Perfect plan! Report back if you feel like it!!
Jan August 5, 2018
I am also wondering about the kind of Sherry to use. I didn't understand this to be a sweet flavor profile. But the suggestion of Harvey's Bristol Cream in the recipe which is sweet to very sweet means that it is. So a medium-dry sherry (not cream sherry) wouldn't work here?
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 5, 2018
Hi Jan! See my response to Coleman below. In short, the sauce definitely does not taste too sweet in the end even when Harvey's Bristol Cream is used, because it's balanced out by a nice amount of vinegar. A medium-dry sherry would definitely work. The sauce will not be as sweet, but it will still be delicious, and you can reduce it down farther at the end if you want it sweeter. Hope this helps!
coleman August 5, 2018
I guess my real question is do you really use a cream sherry?<br />Thanks
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 5, 2018
Yes! Hi again, see below.
coleman August 5, 2018
You call for Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry which is, of course, VERY sweet. Then you say "or white wine." So what variety of wine....certainly not chablis or chardonnay.
Carl August 5, 2018
Use a dry sherry, or a Riesling, Chenin Blanc, or Gewürztraminer. Serve extra wine with dinner as well.
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 5, 2018
Hi Coleman, <br />Sorry for the delay here. Yes, absolutely, I always use Harvey's Bristol Cream. The sweet wine is nice because there's a fair amount of vinegar in the sauce, so the two balance each other out. That said, if I do not have Harvey's on hand, I would either use Madeira if I have it, and if not, some sort of white wine—I typically use Sauvignon Blanc, because that's what I like to drink, and that's what I often have on hand. The sauce, of course, will not be as sweet, but it will still be good. It's very forgiving. Also, after the chicken is done, and after you skim off the fat from the sauce, you can reduce the sauce to concentrate the flavors and increase the sweetness if you use something less sweet than Harvey's. Hope that helps!
gaelnyc August 3, 2018
I love the flavors here, but am not a fan of dark meat chicken. How would I adjust the cooking time if I used bone-in breast? Thank you.
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 3, 2018
I think you'd just have to cut it back by 5 to 10 minutes. Start checking after 30 minutes.
gaelnyc August 6, 2018
Many thanks for your prompt response to my inquiry. I think I'll go with a Sauvignon Blanc, since I already have it.
Author Comment
Alexandra S. August 6, 2018
Ann February 8, 2018
This was a keeper, but like another commenter mentioned, I found myself with too much liquid -- I want max surface area exposed for crispy skin! I'll try cutting back on the water by 1/2 cup next time.
Martha December 2, 2017
I Just made this with the oven baked polenta. Way too much liquid...almost like a soup. Did anyone try making this with less liquid? (I used the recipe with no rice)
Author Comment
Alexandra S. December 2, 2017
Hi Martha,<br />Can you clarify? Too much liquid with the polenta? or with the chicken? With the oven-baked polenta, I usually use 1 cup cornmeal to 5 to 6 cups liquid — it cooks for about an hour. Or are you talking about the sherry chicken being too liquid? Sorry for the trouble here!
London December 4, 2017
Sorry for lack of clarity. The polenta was amazing-great consistency and such an efficient way to make it. The question was about the chicken with the sherry vinegar sauce. The sauce looked great and then I added the two additional cups of water. I baked for 40 minutes and then removed the chicken and brought the liquid to a simmer. Even with that, when I served on top of the polenta, it turned soupy. Wondered if a lot less water would have done the trick. We liked the taste.
Author Comment
Alexandra S. December 5, 2017
Thanks for the clarification. There definitely is a lot of liquid to start, but it does cook down: see photos 10 - 14 above. Depending on how fatty the chicken is, you may not need to skim off the fat, but skimming off the fat does help in terms of reducing the liquid. Did your chicken get nice and golden? If not, you could potentially increase the temperature, which would help the liquid reduce more/faster. OR, as you said, just use less water next time. Try 1.5 cups.
CarlaK October 22, 2017
How would this be with chicken broth subbed for all or part of the water? Especially if you add rice...?
Author Comment
Alexandra S. October 22, 2017
I'm sure it would be delicious! I just find that if water works, why use stock? BUT if you have stock on hand, go for it! When I make Diana Henry's Moroccan chicken and rice, I use water as well and the rice is still delicious.