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Pan-Roasted Chicken with Vinegar-Tarragon Sauce
From Cook”s Country | December/January 2014
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The keys to this French chicken dish turned out to be avoiding soggy skin and taming the astringent vinegar bite. We start with bone-in chicken pieces, cooking them on the stovetop until well browned. Our sauce gets depth from sautéed shallot and garlic and body from just a teaspoon of… read more



1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half crosswise, ­drumsticks, and/or thighs), trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons broth in 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Whisk in vinegar, honey, and remaining broth; set aside.

2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch ovensafe skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken, skin side down, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to plate, skin side up.

3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk broth mixture to redistribute cornstarch and add to skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to boil and return chicken to skillet, skin side up, along with any accumulated juices. Move skillet to oven and cook until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest while preparing sauce. Return skillet to medium-high heat (skillet handle will be hot), bring to boil, and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Off heat, whisk butter, tarragon, and any accumulated juices from platter into sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

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