Chicken in Garlic-Vinegar Sauce

January/February 2009

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Braising chicken in vinegar and herbs is a very popular way of cooking in Mediterranean Europe. Often paired with sweet sausage, this is a gutsy, wholesome dish that can be made a day ahead. Serve with whole-wheat couscous tossed with fresh herbs and steamed broccolini.

"50 minutes definitely made for overcooked chicken, but the sauce is very tasty. We had it over brown rice the first night and over multi-grain pasta with leftovers the next day. "
Chicken in Garlic-Vinegar Sauce

Makes: 6 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 3-3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, (thighs, drumsticks and/or breasts), skin removed, trimmed (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus a pinch, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 7 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 16 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh chives


  1. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil and butter in a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add half the chicken pieces and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a large plate. Add 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add the remaining chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to the plate.
  3. Heat 2 more teaspoons oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add vinegar and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pot. Pour in broth and then carefully nestle the thyme sprigs among the chicken pieces (or stir in dry thyme).
  4. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over medium-low heat until the chicken is very tender, about 50 minutes.
  5. Just before the chicken is done, whisk sour cream, mustard, tomato paste and flour in a small bowl until smooth. Combine tomatoes, chives, the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and pinch of salt in another small bowl; reserve for garnish.
  6. When the chicken is done, remove to a plate, discarding the thyme sprigs (if using). Stir the sour cream mixture into the sauce; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, return the chicken to the sauce and reheat, about 1 minute. Serve garnished with the tomato mixture.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4; cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Finish with Steps 5-6 before serving.
  • Tip: If you are using a combination of thighs, drumsticks and breasts, cut each breast in half crosswise to make pieces about the size of a thigh. And if you buy whole legs, separate the drumsticks and thighs. When the pieces are about the same size, they'll cook at about the same rate.


Per serving: 315 calories; 15 g fat (5 g sat, 7 g mono); 123 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 35 g protein; 1 g fiber; 358 mg sodium; 587 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (20% daily value), Potassium (17% dv), Vitamin A (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Type of Dish
Main dish, poultry
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

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January/February 2009
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