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A French Classic Chicken Recipe Poulet au Vinaigre

Poulet au Vinaigre, or chicken in vinegar, is a classic French preparation that you will find braising in homes as readily in restaurants. At the onset, it sounds kind of overpowering and maybe even unappetizing. Chicken in vinegar? Rarely do we think of vinegar as an ingredient other than maybe used lightly in a vinaigrette.

But when you try this poulet en vinaigre recipe for the first time, you realize your error and start thinking about vinegar in a brand new light. Click here to see my video of this recipe preparation.

Chicken in a Vinegar Sauce Classic French Chicken Recipe

Poulet au Vinaigre

blankChef François de Mélogue
An easy and delicious chicken dish perfect for a family dinner! The quick preparation time is an added bonus for this recipe. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 1 - 3 1/2 lb Chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 4 shallots peeled and diced finely
  • 1/2 cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Concentrate or 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 sprig of Tarragon


  • Season chicken with salt, pepper, and herbs. Dip the skin side in the flour, shaking the excess off. This helps make the skin crispy. If you are gluten intolerant either substitute gluten-free flour or leave it out.
  • In a large skillet, heat both the oil and butter over medium-high heat until the butter starts to turn brown, about 3 minutes. Lay the chicken in the skillet skin side down and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Flip over, and cook the other side until lightly browned about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and keep it warm on a plate. You may have to do this step in two batches if your pan is too crowded.
  • Add the shallots and cook over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add half the vinegar and cook until almost dry, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining vinegar and tomato concentrate, stir well, and then let cook until almost dry.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, reduce heat to low and let cook until the chicken is fully cooked and tender. It should take about 30 minutes. You will know the chicken is done when a fork easily penetrates the thigh. I usually remove the breasts after about 20 minutes. They are smaller and cook much faster.
  • Finish the sauce by whisking in the remaining butter and snipping the tarragon over the chicken.


Tomato concentrate is easy to make at home. Finely chop 1 tomato and cook over low heat with a teaspoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few herbs until thick and paste-like, about 30 minutes.
Keyword Chicken, Tomatoes, Vinegar
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Chef François de Mélogue

Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.

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