This very simple dish is a great favorite. Its success lies in the fact that there are very few ingredients other than a good chicken and excellent-quality vinegar.
When Michel Guérard first sent us his recipes via the Sunday Times magazine in the early 1970s, he included a recipe for Poulet Sauté an Vinaigre de Yin. It was a dish I cooked over and over again, I loved it so much. His version included Armagnac, Dijon mustard, tomato purée, garlic, white wine, chervil, and heavy cream. It is very good and very rich. I have to say, though, that today I prefer this more traditional version. But I thank him, and his translator Caroline Conran, for the introduction to his genius, which has inspired me and countless other cooks.
Yield: Serves 4
4 lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salt and pepper
½ cup butter
2 tbsp olive oil
6 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup best-quality red wine vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
2 heaped tbsp chopped parsley
Season the pieces of chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat 4 tbsp of the butter and the olive oil in a flameproof casserole until just turning nut-brown. Add the chicken and fry gently, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over.
Add the chopped tomatoes, and carry on frying and stewing until the tomato has lost its moisture and is dark red and sticky.
Pour in the vinegar and reduce by simmering until almost disappeared. Add the stock, and simmer again until reduced by half. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep warm. Whisk the remaining butter into the sauce to give it a glossy finish.
Add 1 tbsp chopped parsley, pour over the chicken, and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve with plain boiled potatoes.