Pollan was inspired by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's recipe for vinegar chicken. He suggests seasoning the chicken with salt a day in advance.

Serves 6


  • 3¾ pounds bone-in chicken pieces, preferably dark meat
  • 2½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1½ cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup canned whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley


Active time: 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Preheat oven to 300°. Season chicken with 2 tsp. salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or wide, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Arrange half the chicken in pot in a single layer and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.

Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and cook until much of the acrid aroma has dissipated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and ½ cup water, bring to a vigorous simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, 3 to 5 minutes.

Whisk in tomato paste and remaining ½ tsp. salt. Add tomatoes, then arrange chicken in pot, skin side up, pouring over any accumulated juices from plate. Tuck garlic, thyme, and bay leaves in liquid. Cover pot snugly with foil, then lid, and transfer to oven. Cook 1 hour and 15 minutes, until chicken is very tender.

Let rest 30 minutes; discard thyme and bay leaves. Scatter parsley on top and serve.

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