Pollo con l’Aceto

Fricasseed Chicken with Vinegar

The acids in lemon, vinegar, or wine all add sprightliness to the taste of chicken. In this recipe I use vinegar. But I also use another stimulating ingredient: anchovies. When used as directed below, anchovies do not call attention to themselves; they dissolve, sinking into and deepening the other flavors. You are not aware of them, but if you were to try the dish without them, you’d miss them.


  • A -pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, washed and thoroughly patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup flour, spread on a plate
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 4 flat anchovy fillets chopped very fine
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cup wine vinegar


  1. Choose a lidded sauté pan that can subsequently accommodate all the chicken pieces without overlapping. Put in the vegetable oil and turn on the heat to high, leaving the pan uncovered.
  2. When the oil is hot but not smoking, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour on all sides and slip them into the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the chicken, turning the pieces from time to time, until a golden crust forms on all sides. Turn off the heat and transfer the chicken to a plate. Sprinkle with salt and several grindings of pepper.
  3. Discard the oil from the pan and wipe the pan clean, making sure you remove every trace of flour.
  4. Combine the rosemary, garlic, and chopped anchovies in a small bowl.
  5. Put the olive oil into the pan and turn on the heat to medium. Add the rosemary, garlic, and anchovy mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic exudes its characteristic scent.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan, turn the pieces 2 or 3 times, then add the vinegar. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, letting the vinegar fumes dissipate, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Cook, turning the chicken pieces from time to time, until the chicken feels tender through and through when pricked with a fork. It should take about 1 hour. If, before the chicken is done, you find that there is no more cooking liquid left in the pan, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. Serve promptly when done.