Black vinegar braised chicken

Black vinegar is one of my all time favorite ingredients. It’s tangy (but not as acidic as other vinegars), with lovely, rich caramel undertones. Here, I take one of my favorite techniques for braised chicken thighs, and use the black vinegar instead of white wine. It’s perfection!

Serves 3

  • ¾ cup black vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar 
  • 1 tsp chili crisp, plus more for topping (chili paste or flakes would be fine as well, but different)
  • 6 bone in, skin on, chicken thighs. 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2-3 tbs flour (optional)
  • Canola oil for the pan
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Mix together black vinegar, soy, mirin, rice vinegar, and 1 tsp chili crisp, set aside.
  3. Pat chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper. Dust the skin with flour and pat so that the flour adheres to the skin.
  4. Preheat a stainless steel or cast iron pan over medium-medium high heat until hot, then add enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Wait until the oil shimmers.
  5. Working in batches, brown your chicken thighs, skin side down first. The chicken should sizzle when you put it in the pan. When the skins are nicely browned, flip and cook the bottom side for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken from the pan, drain any excess chicken fat, and turn the heat to low. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, and pour enough of your liquid mixture so that it hits the thighs halfway. The skin should remain completely dry. You may not need to use all the liquid, or you may need to add a bit more, depending on the size of your pan
  8. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. Use a spoon or pastry brush to baste the top of the chickens with braising liquid. Increase the heat to 450 and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, broil for a minute or two to get your skin nice and crispy.
  9. Remove from the oven and top with cilantro and more chili crisp (optional).

Serve with steamed rice