Chicken with sherry vinegar sauce

For 4 servings
4 large or 6 small chicken thighs (or 4 small thigh-leg quarters)
Kosher salt
Olive oil, vegetable oil, or bacon fat for sauteeing
2/3 cup sliced onions (approx. 1 small onion)
2/3 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 to 2 cups chicken stock
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Fresh ground pepper

For two servings
2 large or 4 small chicken thighs (or 2 small thigh-leg quarters)
Kosher salt
Olive oil, vegetable oil, or bacon fat for sauteeing
1/3 cup sliced onions (approx. 1/2 small onion)
1/3 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock (or more as needed)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
Fresh ground pepper

 

Chicken with sherry vinegar sauce

 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt. (We usually salt the skin side to start, then salt the other side when the chicken pieces are in the pan.) Melt the fat or oil in a large skillet (or oven–proof braising pan if you have it) over medium heat. You want a thin, even coat of oil over the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces, skin–side down. Cook without disturbing the chicken pieces for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the chicken pieces lift up from the pan without sticking and the skin is golden brown. Carefully turn the chicken over and cook on the other side for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the pan. (Work in batches if necessary; don’t crowd the pan.)

Pour off all but a light coating of the fat. Sauté the onions or shallots until slightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes (possibly more time if you’re preparing 4 servings).

Add the sherry and stir to dissolve the browned fond from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes to reduce by about half. Then add the sherry vinegar and cook for several minutes to reduce again by about half.

Add 1 cup of chicken stock (1/2 cup for 2 servings), a pinch of salt, the tomatoes, sugar, mustard and a few grinds of black pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.

If your pan is oven safe, add the chicken pieces skin side up. If not, transfer the liquid to a large oven-proof pan (with lid) and add the chicken. Add more chicken stock, if necessary, to bring the level of liquid about halfway up the sides of the chicken pieces.

Cover the pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and remove the lid. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees.

Take the chicken out of the sauce and set aside for a few minutes. Strain the sauce into a large grease separator and allow the sauce to clarify. Reserve the solids. (If you don’t have a fat separator, let the sauce cool slightly so that the fat rises to the top, then spoon or blot off as much as possible.)

Pour the defatted sauce back into the pan and add the chicken and the solids. Return the pan—uncovered—to the oven for another 25 minutes. The liquid will reduce and the chicken skin will get brown and crisp. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

 

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