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CULINARY SOS

Chicken with a happy tang

December 12, 2007|Noelle Carter | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: Our favorite restaurant in Palm Desert is Cuistot. On his lunch menu, the chef used to have the best chicken dish we have ever eaten. It is a vinegar chicken preparation, and we would love to have the recipe. We hope he will share it with you and us.

Michael and Madeline Kennedy

Costa Mesa

Dear Michael and Madeline: Chef Bernard Dervieux was happy to share the simple secret to this crisp but succulent chicken: high heat. After sauteing the chicken briefly in a large skillet, place the skillet in a 500-degree oven. Finish the dish with a pan sauce made from the drippings. A little red wine and red wine vinegar bring depth and a nice sharpness to the sauce.

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Sauteed chicken with red wine vinegar sauce

Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from chef Bernard Dervieux of Cuistot in Palm Desert. The chef recommends Cabernet vinegar for the red wine vinegar in the recipe.

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or whole legs

Salt, pepper

2 tablespoons butter, divided

4 whole garlic cloves, skin-on

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

3 tablespoons red wine

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 cup chicken broth

2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

Chopped chives or parsley for garnish

1. Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle each piece of chicken lightly on each side with one-eighth teaspoon salt and a grind or two of pepper.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the chicken, skin-side down, along with the garlic cloves. Saute over medium-high heat, until the skin is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and repeat on the other side.

3. Place the pan, with the chicken skin-side up, in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through. The meat will be firm and the juices will run clear, and a thermometer inserted will read 165 degrees.

4. Remove the chicken from the skillet, cover and set aside in a warm place. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the pan, and return to the stove over medium heat. Add the shallots, cooking until they caramelize, about 2 minutes. Add the red wine and vinegar and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, a few minutes. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and stir to combine; adjust seasoning. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter, swirling to thicken the sauce.

5. Return the chicken to the sauce and heat 1 to 2 minutes until warmed through. Sprinkle with chives or parsley and serve immediately.

Each serving: 265 calories; 30 grams protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 13 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 97 mg. cholesterol; 751 mg. sodium.

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