vinegar chicken

serves 4; hands-on time 40 min; simmering time 20 min

make ahead
Freeze minus the tomatoes and herbs. Defrost, reheat and finish the recipe.

food team's tips
To skin tomatoes, score the bases, then lower gently into a pan of just-boiled water. Leave for 30 seconds before removing, then allow to cool slightly The skins should peel off easily.

You can use 40g ready-clarified butter or ghee instead of clarifying your own butter in step 1, if you like.

If the chicken doesn't produce much juice after step 3, use 100m1 chicken stock instead for step 4.

50g unsalted butter (see tips)
1.5kg free-range chicken joints (2 large breasts, wings attached, and 2 large legs;
6 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 tbsp Artisan Malt Vinegar
2 tsp caster sugar
300m1 dry white wine
2 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
150m1 creme fraiche
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned deseeded and diced
1 tbsp each chopped fresh tarragon and curly parsley

1. Put the butter in a pan over a low heat until just melted. Pour into a large, deep frying pan or sauté pan with a lid, discarding the milky liquid that will have settled at the bottom of the butter pan (see tips).

2. Cut the chicken legs in half through the joint and halve each part-boned breast. Season on both sides, then fry, skin-side down, in the clarified butter over a medium heat until golden. Turn over and brown the other sides. Add the garlic, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 110°C/fan90°C/gas ¼.

3. Lift the chicken onto a warmed serving plate, cover and keep warm in the oven. Pour any juices from the pan into a small bowl, leave to settle, then skim off and discard the fat.

4. Return the pan to the heat, add the vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil, scraping up any bits with a spoon. Boil until reduced to about 2 tbsp, then add the wine and brandy and boil until reduced by half. Add any chicken cooking juices and boil until reduced to about 150m1 (see tips). Press the sauce and soft garlic through a sieve into a clean pan and discard the garlic skins. Return the sauce to the pan, then stir in the mustard and crème fraîche. Simmer until thickened slightly.

5. Return the chicken to the pan, spoon over some sauce and reheat briefly. Stir in the diced tomato and herbs, then adjust the seasoning.

per serving 652kcals, 34.1g fat (19.1g saturated), 64.2g protein, 5g carbs (4g sugars), 0.9g salt, 1.5g fibre

wine editor's choice
An appley white wine such as chenin blanc, or a fine dry cider.

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