Poulet de Bresse au Vinaigre

Another day, another chicken.  There must be an infinite number of chicken recipes out there, but I am often at a loss for something new.  Don't feel like it, too much work, boring, or just stuck in a rut, I just could not come up with what to do with that chicken in my refrigerator.  I sat at my kitchen counter looking through cookbooks and suddenly remembered this recipe from Bocuse's Regional French Cooking, Poulet de Bresse au Vinaigre.  It's been a long time since I last made this chicken.  Not too many steps, and if I remember correctly, quite tasty.

Of course, my chicken was not from Bresse, but it is organic and it will do.  The recipe is as follows, with a few changes I made along the way.
1 Large Bresse or free-range chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
2 Tomatoes - I used what I had on hand, which were grape tomatoes, about 1 cup, chopped
6 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and dry the chicken and cut into 8 pieces.  In a large Dutch oven, melt 1 tbsp of butter.  Salt and pepper the chicken.  Add the chicken and brown on all sides.  At this point, the recipe calls for incorporating the rest of the ingredients with the chicken.  I preferred to remove the chicken and continue with the sauce so that the skin the chicken can remain crispy.  I put the chicken on a baking pan and placed it in a 400f oven to finish, another 20-25 minutes.  Add the garlic cloves to the pot and mix well.  Add the vinegar and bring to a boil.  Stir in the tomatoes, cover and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and reduce the sauce by 1/3.  Strain the sauce through a sieve pressing on the solids.  Return sauce to clean pan over low heat.  Cut the remaining 5 tbsp of butter into small pieces and add to the sauce a couple pieces at a time, whisking to incorporate.  Stir in the cream.  Ladle the sauce around the chicken to serve.  The first question from the girls is always, "is there sauce?"  But of course!


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