Food by VICE

Vinegar Chicken Recipe

This is one of our favorite dishes of all time, no lie, so cook it and you, too, can experience its wonder and delight.

by Ashley Berman
Nov 27 2018, 2:00pm

Photo by Heami Lee

Servings: 4
Prep: 25 minutes
Total: 1 1/2 hours, plus overnight brine


for the brine:
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken

for the rub:
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 1/4 teaspoons adobo seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/3 cup olive oil

for the shallots:
4 large shallots, halved lengthwise
2 sprigs fresh oregano
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the vinegar sauce:
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cognac
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons light brown sugar

for the garnish:
Pickled cherry peppers
Curly parsley leaves
Flaky sea salt, to taste


1. Brine the chicken: Heat 2 gallons of water in a large saucepan over medium heat along with the sugar and salt until dissolved. Cool completely, then add in the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Make the rub: Mix all ingredients (except for the oil) in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.

3. Roast the shallots: Heat the oven to 375°F. Toss the shallots, herbs, oil, salt, and pepper on a small baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until soft. Keep warm.

4. The next day, remove the chicken from the brine and dry completely (you can leave it to dry for a few hours if you have the time, otherwise, just with some paper towels will do). Heat the oven to 350°F. Brush the chicken all over with the oil and sprinkle all over with the rub. Transfer the chicken to a sheet tray and roast until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the bird reads 165°F, about 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes before carving.

5. Make the vinegar sauce: Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until soft, 2 minutes. Add the cognac and carefully light a match to burn off the alcohol. Cook until the flame dies out, about 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the white wine. Reduce by half, then stir in the chicken stock, sherry vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Cook for 3 minutes more, then slowly add the remaining butter, swirling and whisking to incorporate before adding in the next cube. Keep warm.

6. To serve: Heat the oven to broil. Transfer the carved chicken to a baking sheet and cook until the skin is crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and top with the roasted shallots and vinegar peppers. Spoon the sauce over and sprinkle on the parsley leaves and salt. Serve immediately.