Serves 4 to 6
This is the dream make-ahead dish. An overnight stay in the refrigerator lets the chicken absorb all the lovely contrasting flavors in the sauce. Serve with broccoli and mashed potatoes or rice.


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 pound chicken (organic if possible), cut into 8 pieces
  • 12 large cloves garlic, peeled but not chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 whole dried ancho chile with seeds (remove seeds for milder flavor), crushed, or 2 fresh jalapeno chiles, partially seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 3/4 cup water, and more as needed


1. Film the bottom of a 12-inch sauté pan (not non-stick) with oil and heat over medium-high. Pat the chicken dry. Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Leisurely brown chicken until crusty on both sides, adjusting heat to protect the glaze on the bottom of the pan from burning, about 10 minutes total. Off the heat, remove the chicken from the pan. Spoon away almost all of the fat in the pan.

2. Return pan to the heat and add garlic cloves and wine. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low and at a slow bubble 10 minutes, scraping up the pan glaze periodically, until wine has almost cooked away. Stir in chiles, oregano, and vinegar, and then return chicken to pan. Simmer uncovered until vinegar is syrupy and barely coats the bottom of the pan. Turn chicken pieces to keep them coated with the sauce as they cook.

3. Blend in water, cover, and simmer gently about 15 minutes, or until thigh is cooked through (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Stir in a little more water if pan gets dry. If possible, store chicken in refrigerator overnight and reheat gently before serving.

Copyright 2002 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper