If you like recipes with loads of flavors, this braised verjuice chicken is the answer! Browned chicken pieces are cooked in a tangy, fruity juice. The “juice” is called verjuice from the french term “vert jus”, in reference to the green fruit juice, picked up before maturity. In most cases verjuice comes from grapes, but could also be made once from other acid fruits such as gooseberries, or herbs such as sorrel. It was a widely used condiment in the Middle Age. Some great chefs use verjuice to deglaze or prepare marinades, and also in salad dressings.
Chicken with verjuice is the ancestor of the chicken in vinegar, a famous traditional recipe from France. Many variations exist: with or without chopped tomatoes, with or without mushrooms, shallots or onions, white wine or cream… If you do not have verjuice, you can replace it with a good wine vinegar or lemon juice.
Ingredients list for the braised verjuice chicken recipe
- 1 chicken cut into pieces
- 1 knob of butter
- Olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 or 3 carrots
- 1/2 cup (12cl) of verjuice, lemon juice, or vinegar
- 1/2 cup (12cl) dry white wine
- 1 bouquet garni: thyme, bay leaf, parsley
- 1/2 cup (12cl) of chicken stock (or 1 bouillon cube in 1/2 cup hot water)
- 1/2 pound (250g) mushrooms
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides with salt and pepper in a chef pan over high heat with a little butter and oil. You can do this in several batches until well colored. Set aside on a plate.
2. Replace chicken pieces with a finely chopped onion and carrots cut into small cubes. Carrots add a sweetness that balances perfectly the sour grape juice. It is better to make it sweat in the chicken juice, stirring so that it does not burn. When the onions are translucent, add the verjuice (or vinegar, or lemon juice) and bring to a boil.
3. Add the white wine, add the bouquet garni, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
4. At half cooking time, add mushrooms (cleaned and quartered), and a pinch of salt. Cover and finish cooking. Then remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm on a serving dish.
5. Filter the cooking juice in a saucepan through a fine mesh strainer. Keep the onions, mushrooms and carrots in the strainer to mix with chicken. Pour the chicken stock into the pan, boil the juice and simmer to reduce for about ten minutes, until it gets a syrupy consistency (It smells wonderful). When the juice has thickened, add a small knob of butter, remove from heat and stir until butter is melted. Butter will give a smoother and glossier sauce.
Arrange chicken pieces and vegetables on serving plates, top with sauce. Serve with boiled potatoes, fresh pasta, or rice. Bon appetit!