1white-fleshedchicken of 2kg (4½lb) cleaned and divided into four pieces
250ml (scant half-pint) white wine vinegar
250ml (scant half-pint) red wine
500g (1lb2oz) yellow onions
2cloves of garlic
2ripe tomatoes of 100g (3½oz) each
abouquetgarni made up of celery, asprig of thyme, a small bayleaf, a fewsprigs of parsley, tied together with a thread
60g (2oz) butter
Peel the onions and cut them in fine rounds. Put them in an enamelled cast-iron casserole with 15g (½oz) butter and 2tablespoons water. Cover and cook over gentle heat for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon to make sure they do not stick and burn. If they start to brown add 2 more tablespoons of water and reduce the heat. While the onions are cooking remove the stalks of the tomatoes, cut them in half horizontally and press with your palm to expel excess moisture and seeds. Chop coarsely into dice. Peel and crush the cloves of garlic. When the onions are cooked, add the tomatoes and cook a further 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat and keep the casserole warm with its lid on, having first buried the bouquet garni and the cloves of garlic in the middle of the onions and tomatoes.
Put 15g (½oz) of butter to heat in another enamelled cast-iron casserole. Season the pieces of chicken on all sides with salt and pepper and put them in the casserole. Let them brown rapidly on all sides, and then place the pieces in the first casserole (1) on top of the bed of tomatoes and onions. Return the casserole to a gentle heat and cook, covered, watching carefully to see that the liquid does not all evaporate. The chicken should remain on top of the vegetables, cooking in the steam alone. After about 25 minutes, when the chicken is done, put the pieces on a plate and keep hot.
While the chicken is cooking, heat the 15g (½oz) butter in the casserole in which the chicken has browned and pour in the wine vinegar. Reduce until it forms a syrupy glaze and then add the red wine. Reduce again until there are approximately 5tablespoons of liquid left. Remove from the heat.
Remove the bouquet garni from the vegetables in the first casserole (1) and liquidise the contents, or sieve them through a mouli-légumes. Pour the resulting purée into the second casserole containing the wine and vinegar reduction (3). Bring to the boil briefly and strain the sauce through a fine wire sieve. Return to the casserole and add the pieces of chicken, which you have kept hot, together with the juices that will have run out of them. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and then, away from the heat, add 15g (½oz) of butter swirling the sauce round in the pan. Finish by adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
Beaujolais or red Burgundy (Morgon, Brouilly, Moulin à Vent or Volnay)