This Pantry Staple Will Take Your Chicken From Boring To Brilliant

Photo: Courtesy of Impatient Foodie
This dish comes from my childhood nanny, Geraldine. I can’t remember exactly how old I was when she came to live with us, but I remember feeling like Liesl from The Sound of Music (“I am 16 years old, and I don’t need a governess.”) Well, I was wrong, because Geraldine (or “Chou” as we came to affectionately call each other) was for sure the BESTEST nanny and friend a girl could ever ask for. 

Chou was beautiful, feisty, young, fun, and funny, and there was never any hierarchy in our relationship. I talked to her about all of my pre-teen/teenage angst and she would open up to me about her life, including fun stories about the dating scene in NYC (Carrie Bradshaw could have taken notes from this chick). We played video games together, gossiped a lot, and sang the Rent soundtrack at the top of our lungs (don’t judge me, it was the '90s and Rent was all the rage, okay?).

Not only was Geraldine a totally awesome person, she also cooked amazing food. This is her recipe and it’s DELICIOUS. Recently, I cooked it again for the first time in about 15 years, and it brought me right back to that time and place (I always love how food can do that). This chicken is excellent for dinner, and if you have leftovers, it's great on a salad for lunch the next day. It’s a real winner, just like Geraldine. 

Related: Worth It Not Worth It — Gluten Free Bread 

Chou's Vinegar Chicken
Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients 
8-10 chicken drumsticks
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 
1/4 bottle of dry white wine
1 heaping tbsp tomato paste 
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Take your chicken out of the fridge to bring it to room temp. Pat your chicken with paper towels to remove excess moisture and sprinkle all the drumsticks with a little bit of salt.

2. Put some paper towels on a plate and set near your stovetop.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil in a pan over high heat, until butter has fully melted and oil is very hot.

4. Once the oil is nice and hot, add the chicken and cook until the skin is crispy and the color is golden brown (but don’t let the meat cook through yet). Add the full garlic cloves towards the end of browning.

5. Move the browned chicken to your plate with paper towels.

6. Pour 1/3 cup of vinegar and deglaze the pan (translation: take a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom of the pan so you remove all the yummy crispy bits).

7. Wait 5 minutes until vinegar is reduced and then put the chicken back in.

8. In a bowl, combine the quarter bottle of white wine, the tomato paste, and Dijon mustard.

9. Pour the wine mixture on top of the chicken. Reduce heat to low/medium and cook for about 30 minutes or until chicken meat is cooked through. Turn the chicken after 10-15 minutes to make sure the chicken is coated and cooking evenly.

10. About 2 minutes before your remove the chicken from the heat, you can add in the cream and mix in well.

11. Add salt and pepper to taste. Move the chicken to a serving platter, pour all the yummy sauce and garlic all over the chicken, and serve.

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