I love having lunch dates, in fact I had one earlier this week with one of my best friends. The restaurants and “quick bite” deli’s in the neighborhood where I work are okay to splurge on occasionally, but spending $10 on a half sandwich and bag of chips just doesn’t sit right with me. I guess my friend felt the same way because we both brought bag lunches. Before I could even ask her what she brought, she blurted, “Yes, I did bring all of the ingredients for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I didn’t have time to assemble it this morning, don’t judge me.” Of course I wasn’t judging her, but I knew what she would ask next, and I didn’t want to seem like an arse, yes I really say arse, when it was my turn to share what I had brought for lunch.
If you read my first post then 1.) THANK YOU! and 2.) That post was partially inspired by my best friend aka BFF. You see we love to cook together. Well, actually it’s more like she likes to be in the general area of where I’m cooking and then eat the meals I prepare. If you’re reading this BFF, sorry, but you know it’s true!
My poor BFF, she really does try, but life just seems to always get in the way of her culinary journey. She’s constantly telling me she’s always missing an ingredient and never knows what to add to her foods. So, I gave her a list of different spices, sauces, and various basics to keep on hand, to add flavor to her dishes. I remember her resistance to one particular item on my list, and I quote, “Red wine vinegar? What am I suppose to do with that?” Oh, ye of little faith, you can incorporate vinegar into many dishes. Just try it! In fact, I was impressed, she used all of the spices I listed and had basics like onions, garlic, and potatoes stocked. However, over time, that bottle of red wine vinegar seemed to be growing roots in her cupboard. Even though it’s been over a year, I think that bottle is still sitting on her shelf! Don’t worry little bottle of vinegar, you haven’t expired, you’ve still got time. In fact, I’m dedicating this post to you, and hopefully my BFF will get the hint and finally use you.
Roasted Chicken in a Red Wine & Vinegar Sauce
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
Cook Time: 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes
Why does it take between 1 hour -1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare this dish?
If I could give you any advice it’s always best to read the entire recipe, before you do anything. It’s one of the most important things you can do to prepare a dish. Trust me, it will save you time in the long run. However, I don’t always follow my own advice, and if you didn’t read the entire recipe for this dish and only made sure you had all of the ingredients. Make sure you add 15 minutes to the cook time.
Ingredients: (Yes there will be commentary)
2-4 Chicken Breasts or 1 whole chicken cut into 4 pieces
For the chicken breast I prefer bone-in, tons of flavor and they are cheaper at the grocery store!
Salt and Pepper
I hate when recipes give you exact amounts, outside of baking, it should always be to taste. Some like a little more or a little less. However, less is sometimes more so be careful, and remember you can always add salt and pepper at the table.
2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
If you do not have vegetable oil then olive oil will work too.
3-4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
If you only have regular butter that’s ok, just go lighter on the salt.
¼ cup garlic, finely chopped (About 5 Cloves)
2-3 medium-sized shallots
1 medium carrot (If you have baby carrots lying around use about 5 of those)
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh bay leaves
Substitute 4 dry leaves, if you do not have fresh leaves, and if you do not have either, add more thyme to the recipe.
1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
½ cup red-wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
My Mamaw always said there’s nothing wrong with a little extra suga (sugar), so if it is too bitter for your liking then add a little more, you can always even it out with a bit more red wine.
1 cup chicken broth (I prefer lower sodium)
Time to Prep.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and make sure the oven rack is positioned in the middle slot.
After rinsing the chicken off in cold water, dry, and coat with 1-2 tablespoons of oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil and 1-2 tablespoons of butter, into a large skillet over medium to high heat and brown the chicken. It will usually take about 10 minutes to brown each side, (done in two batches). Transfer chicken to a roasting pan, and roast uncovered in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
While the chicken is roasting, start making the sauce. Leave the fat/liquid from the chicken in the skillet and add the garlic, carrots, shallots, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves and cook over medium heat. Stir frequently and scrape pan if necessary. When the vegetables are translucent/brown, add tomato paste and stir for about a minute. Add wine, vinegar and sugar. Again if it is too tart for your liking then add a little more sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. The sauce should reduce to half, which takes between 5-10 minutes.
You’re almost done!
Add the chicken broth to sauce and any juices from the roasting pan and boil. Pour sauce through a mesh strainer and pour liquid over chicken (still in the roasting pan). Try to get as much liquid out of the solids as possible, and discard. Roast the chicken uncovered until cooked through, for another 15-20 minutes.
Once the chicken is cooked thoroughly, remove sauce from the roasting pan and place chicken in an oven proof serving dish. Then place the chicken into the now turned off oven.
While the chicken is keeping warm in the oven, boil the sauce you removed from the pan, over high heat until reduced to about 1-2 cups. Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter and pour sauce over chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This dish goes great with rice, or sautéed vegetable (as shown in the picture), but the true star of this show is the wine sauce, which I love because it is sweet and tangy. It’s so easy to make and you can definitely wow a crowd with this one. Enjoy!