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POLLO AL LAMBRUSCOLambrusco is one of the signature wines of Emilia-Romagna, and it is considered the perfect accompaniment to many of the classic dishes of the region, both because it complements their flavors and because it cuts the richness of the foods. This is especially true of frizzante, the gently sparkling version of Lambrusco.
For this recipe, a cousin to coq au vin, the chicken is marinated in a Lambrusco-based mixture, which tenderizes and flavors it and also provides the base for a quick sauce. A year-round dish, the chicken can be served with almost any vegetable contorni.
Note that the chicken must marinate for at least 4 hours.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 chicken, about 4 pounds, cut into 8 pieces by your butcher
  • 1 cup Lambrusco
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a chef’s knife and peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • ¼ cup canola oil or other neutral oil
  • About ¾ cup Chicken Stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
How to Make It
  1. Put the chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag. Put the Lambrusco, vinegar, mustard, and olive oil in a large measuring cup or a small bowl and whisk together. Pour the mixture into the bag with the chicken, then add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and garlic. Seal the bag, turn to coat the chicken, set it on a large plate, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  2. Line a plate with paper towels. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the bay leaves and herbs, reserving the marinade, and put on the lined plate; blot dry with additional paper towels. Season the chicken pieces liberally all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Put the flour on a wide plate and lightly coat the chicken pieces in flour, turning them, then gently shaking off any excess, and transfer to another plate.
  4. Set a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium-high heat and add the canola oil. Tip and tilt the pot to coat it with the oil and heat until the oil is shimmering and almost smoking. Add the chicken and cook, using tongs or a kitchen spoon to turn the pieces as they brown, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken, when browned, to a plate. (This may need to be done in batches; if so, transfer the first batch to the plate and cook the second batch, then return all the pieces to the Dutch oven.)
  5. Carefully spoon out and discard any excess oil from the pot (this can also be done with a baster). Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the liquid is simmering and simmer until nicely thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the liquid and pour in ½ cup of the stock and bring to a simmer, then cover the pot, lower the heat, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, basting occasionally with a pastry brush, tablespoon, or baster; if the sauce thickens too much, stir in a few tablespoons more stock. (To test for doneness, gently pry one piece of chicken open with a paring knife and check that the meat is cooked through at the center.) Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter or individual plates. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

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