Cider vinegar makes this chicken stew perfectly tender, tangy, and saucy, with sweet carrots and mellow leeks for an easy-to-make, one-pot meal.
When I was a kid, my mom made us follow the “one bite rule.” No matter how weird it looked, sounded, or smelled, we had to try at least one bite of the dinner she’d made. Mostly, dinner’s first bite turned into a whole meal success. Unless liver was on the menu. Then, no further comment needed.
This zesty chicken stew recipe could easily fall into mom’s one-bite-required category, and maybe make her pucker up a bit too. Vinegar chicken? Is there such a thing? Yes, indeed there is. And no matter how weird it sounds, from the first bite to the last, it’s totally delicious.
Like in my slow cooker balsamic chicken recipe, cider vinegar tenderizes chunks of boneless chicken thighs and creates a lip-smacking, soaking sauce for the chicken to bathe in. This chicken stew starts on the stove, finishes in the oven, and is served over buttery egg noodles. It’s pure comfort, and perfect for fall and winter nights, and if you’re lucky, leftovers the next day.
How to Make Cider Vinegar Chicken Stew
This recipe is simplified from this braised chicken thighs recipe made with whole, skin-on chicken thighs that were browned, braised, and finally broiled before added back to the stew. We first made it the way the recipe instructed, but quickly realized we could streamline it and make it a whole lot easier.
What’s In Cider Vinegar Chicken Stew
Here’s what you’ll need to make this chicken stew:
- Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- Cider vinegar
- Chicken broth
- All-purpose flour
- Egg noodles
- Extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are the dark meat of the chicken, and stay tender and juicy as it cooks. Unlike chicken breasts, boneless chicken thighs often have extra fat and tendrils that need to be trimmed before cooking.
Cut chicken into 1-inch chunks. My husband and I simplified the original recipe by slicing boneless chicken thighs into chunks, browning them, and then popping in the oven to stew. It not only made the recipe easier to make, but easier to eat too.
To achieve a golden-browned crust, don’t overcrowd the pot. Brown the seasoned chicken in batches if needed. Stuffing too many chicken chunks in the pot causes the chicken to steam instead of brown. Before adding the vegetables, transfer the chicken to a bowl, and pick out any extra crisp or burned pieces from the pot.
Use the whites and light green parts of the leek. As part of the onion family, leeks are mellower in taste than yellow or red onions but add a really delicious flavor to the sauce. Flush the leek leaves with water to rinse out any dirt. Because the dark green leaves are tough and stringy, only use the tender white and light green parts of the leek.
Sauté the vegetables until leeks begin to soften. Transfer the chicken from the pot, wipe out any of the extra browned bits but saving anything that isn’t burned. Add more oil and cook the vegetables just until the leeks soften and the garlic smells aromatic.
The Vinegar Sauce
Add flour to the vegetables to start the sauce. Sprinkle the vegetables with all-purpose flour and cook for a few minutes to brown, and lose the raw flour taste.
Cook the vinegar with the vegetables and flour. Stand back and slowly add the vinegar to the floured vegetables to avoid a vinegar perfumed steam bath. Stir as the combination cooks down and thickens.
Balance the vinegar with chicken broth. This zippy sauce is balanced with chicken broth. I like my homemade chicken broth, but any good quality store brand will be great too.
Add the chicken back to the pot and finish cooking in the oven. A 350°F braise in the oven finishes the sauce as it’s vinegar tang infuses the tender chicken and vegetables.
What to Serve With Vinegar Chicken Stew
Buttery egg noodles are our favorite addition to this stew, but you could also eat this one-pot meal all on its own. Or, serve it over cooked white rice or large pearl couscous.
And always remember crusty sourdough bread for dipping and sopping up all that juicy, vinegar stew sauce.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Cider Vinegar Chicken Stew
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 5 carrots , sliced ½ inch thick
- 5 garlic cloves , thinly sliced
- 1 leek , white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons butter , divided
- 1 tablespoon parsley , minced
- 1 pound egg noodles
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Trim the fat from the chicken thighs and slice into 1-inch cubes. Season well with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed pot or cast-iron dutch oven, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook the chicken in batches if needed, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
- Wipe out any of the extra crispy bits from the pot and add the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add the carrots, garlic, and leek and cook until the leek softens, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes to lose it's raw flavor. Add the vinegar and stir, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, as the vinegar cooks down and thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the chicken back to the pot and cover with a lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles in salted water according to package directions. Drain, then add back to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the noodles and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside, cover and keep warm.
- Remove the stew from the oven and stir in the remaining butter until melted. Add more salt or pepper if you like, sprinkle with parsley, and serve over the buttered noodles.
More Chicken Stew and Soup Recipe Ideas
- Lemon Chicken Stew
- The Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Creamy Chicken And Wild Rice Soup
- Tabasco Braised Chicken With Chickpeas And Kale
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
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