Paula Wolfert’s Chicken with Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato, and Shallots


Evan caught up with legendary cookbook author Paula Wolfert when she was at the First Annual Couscous Festival held earlier this month.  Hear their conversation this week on Good Food. And Gillian has some amazing pictures from a brik demonstration here.

In the meantime, here is a recipe from Paula (after the jump).

Chicken with Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato, and Shallots

Preferred Clay Pot: A 10- or 11-inch straight-sided flameware skillet or a Spanish cazuela (If using an electric or ceramic stovetop, be sure to use a heat diffuser with the clay pot)
8 large chicken thighs (about 3½ pounds), preferably organic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon strong chicken stock or glace de poulet diluted in ½ cup water or ½ cup rich chicken stock
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup thick tomato sauce or 1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup thinly sliced shallot
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
¾ cup dry white wine, such as Viognier, at room temperature
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish

1. Rinse the chicken thighs; pat dry and trim away all excess fat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature while you prepare the sauce.

2. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, chicken stock, honey, and tomato sauce. Boil until reduced to ¾ cup. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

3. Set the flameware skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter and, when foaming, slowly raise the heat to medium. Add half the pieces of chicken and brown well on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a side dish and repeat with the remaining chicken.

4. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and cook slowly until soft , about 5 minutes. Pour the warm sauce into the pan and slowly bring to a boil. Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up. Slowly pour in the wine. Season with 2 pinches of salt and 1 pinch of pepper. Cover, raise the heat to medium, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken, cover with foil, and let rest while you finish the sauce.

5. Stir the crème fraîche into the skillet and boil for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pot and top with the chopped tarragon.

  • If folks are looking for flameware skillets or ceramic cazuelas, we offer those after working with Paula in their development. is a link to the cazuela.

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  • Angela Sanders

    I bought Paula’s Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking last month and this was the first recipe I tried. It is so amazing. it is simple, yet complex flavors. I use my tagine to cook this. I put this over Bomba rice that I cook in a rice cooker.