Sicilian Vinegar Chicken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

Sicilians are the masters when it comes to the ‘agrodolce’: sweet and sour. This peasant-style chicken is brimming with that vibe and more. Serve it up over pasta, rice or a good mash.

Preparation: 20 Minutes
Cooking: 1 Hour 10 Minutes


  • 6 corn-fed, free-range chicken Marylands (leg quarters)
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced into half moons
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) white wine
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) chicken stock
  • 3 teaspoons tiny capers in brine, drained
  • 45 g ( oz/¼ cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley


Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then dust with flour and shake off the excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan with a fitted lid over medium heat. Cook the chicken until browned all over, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, the onion, garlic and celery and season to taste. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until soft.

Add the vinegar and simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add all of the remaining ingredients except the parsley and return the chicken pieces to the pan. Season with a little more salt and pepper, then cover and reduce the heat to low: simmer gently for 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced. Alternatively you can bake the chicken at 190°C (375°F) or 170°C (325°F) fan forced for 1 hour, removing the lid in the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with pasta, mash or rice.