Sylvie's Chicken


Prep School

Published by Agate Surrey

This image courtesy of Bob Fila / Chicago Tribune

My Parisienne friend Sylvie Hornus made this when she stayed at our house a few years back. I marveled then at its flavor, today at its simplicity. Serve with noodles or rice.


Preparation Time20 min

Cooking Time37 min

Cooking MethodSauteeing



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free


Taste and TextureMeaty, Savory


  • 1 chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, cut up
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine or dry vermouth
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil; heat 30 seconds. Add the legs and thighs, skin side down; cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over; add chicken breasts, skin side down. (The breasts cook more quickly and therefore demand less time in the pan.)

  2. Cook, turning, until all of the pieces are brown on all sides, about 12 more minutes; reduce heat to medium. Cover the pan, leaving a small opening for steam to escape. Cook the chicken until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh or leg reads 165 degrees, about 15 minutes.

  3. Remove chicken to a warm plate. Pour out any excess fat, leaving any browned bits or juice. Turn up the heat; add the shallots. Cook, stirring to prevent them from burning, 30 seconds.

  4. Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine and scraping up any brown bits. When the wine has nearly evaporated, add the chicken broth; continue stirring. Heat to a boil; cook to reduce the mixture slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

  5. Add the thyme; whisk in the cold butter to emulsify the sauce. Taste for seasoning. Serve the chicken pieces with the sauce.


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Chicken and dry vermouth is a great combo. I can't wait to try this recipe. I might try it with rosemary instead of thyme, however )


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