This popular-through-the-ages French dish is pure genius in its simplicity: chicken thighs and shallots braised in wine, chicken stock and cider vinegar. That’s it. No obscure or exotic ingredients or off-the-wall cooking methods. And the ratio of flavor to effort is phenomenal—I was pretty surprised the first time I made it. You mean I can just throw a handful of ingredients together, bake them in a skillet, and have it taste that good, for under $2 a serving? Mais oui!
Recipe adapted from Peggy Knickerbocker’s “Simple Soirees.” As below it makes about 3 servings. It’s great on its own, but I like it over brown rice.
• 1 1/2-2 lbs. chicken thighs (about 5-6, bone-in or boneless/skinless): $3
• 2 T butter: 12 cents
• 1 T olive oil: 6 cents
• 3 large shallots, minced: 60 cents
• 3 large garlic cloves, minced: 3 cents
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar: 30 cents
• 3/4 cup dry white wine (because the flavors are so simple, it’s best to use the best wine you can afford in this case): 66 cents
• 2 tsp tomato paste: 10 cents
• 3/4 cup chicken stock (from-scratch frozen): $0
• Salt & pepper: 2 cents
• Parsley, for garnish: 20 cents
• 1 1/2 cups brown rice (optional), cooked however you normally cook rice: 40 cents
TOTAL: $5.09/3 = $1.7o/serving
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 T butter and the olive oil over medium-high. Brown the chicken, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Remove to a plate. Pour off all about about 1 T of fat. Add the remaining T butter and cook the shallots and garlic until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with the wine and vinegar, scraping up all the browned bits.
Whisk in the tomato paste and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Nestle the chicken thighs in the sauce and bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through.
I like to shred the chicken once it’s done, but it’s probably more elegant whole. Serve with the sauce over rice, if desired, garnished with parsley.