Amy Finley

The Da Vinci Code by

Photo: © Shawna Krystek

About the Author

AMY FINLEY was the winner of the third season of the hit show The Next Food Network Star. After her win, she hosted Food Network’s The Gourmet Next Door. A Paris-trained cook and pastry chef, she was a regular contributor to Bon Appétit. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and their children. 


From the Hardcover edition.

Books by Amy Finley

Author Essay

Poulet au Vinaigre (Chicken in Vinegar)

This dish is perfect served with buttered white rice or potatoes and good bread for mopping up the juices. And a glass of red wine? Mais, oui . . .

6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 small shallots, minced (or 1 small onion, minced)
1 15 oz. can whole tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 bunch tarragon leaves, finely chopped

1. Season the thighs generously with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter together in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken well on both sides, trying to keep the thighs from flopping open messily. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
2. Add the wine to the pan, scraping up all the delectable brown bits from the bottom. Reduce until nearly dry, then lower the heat to medium. Add 1 more tablespoon of butter, the garlic, and shallot, and sauté until translucent.
3. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands until they are pulpy and add them to the pan, reserving the juice. Slowly add the vinegar and the chicken stock. Nestle the chicken into the sauce, reduce the heat to medium low, and let the dish simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, with thankfulness for the practical inability of thighs to become overcooked and tough. Remove the lid and transfer the chicken to a plate, covering to keep warm.
4. The sauce should be fairly thick. If it’s too thick, add a splash of the reserved tomato juice. If it’s too thin, bring up the heat and boil vigorously until it’s reduced. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, then stir in the tarragon, reserving a little for garnish.
5. Return the chicken to the pan, turning to coat it in sauce, then plate with additional ladles of sauce and a final sprinkle of tarragon.
*You can use bone-in and skinless, or bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs if you wish, but this is a recipe I’m always turning to when I’m at least thirty minutes behind schedule to put dinner on the table, and I happily take the shortcut using boneless and skinless. But follow your bliss.

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