Based on recipe from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Staged cooking of chicken parts inspired by Cook's Illustrated's Braised Chicken with Basil and Tomato recipe.

It is easier to make the chicken tender if you do it in the oven because the heat will be slower and more even. So this starts on the stove and ends in the oven.

The key to the order of the chicken pieces going into the pot is to try to get them to finish around the same time.

It's important not to overcook the breasts. The dark meat is more forgiving.

Also, the skin slows down the temperature transmission when the skin is down and the pot is on the stove.


  • Whole chicken
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 6 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tarragon leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream


Break down chicken into 10 parts - drum stick, thighs, breast into 4 parts, wings. Save the back and wing tips for stock.

Dry brine chicken with salt and pepper overnight.

Preheat oven to 300 if using.

Before cooking, dredge chicken pieces in flour. I add a bit of extra salt and pepper, but not too much since it's dry brined.

In a Dutch oven, add a bit of olive oil and sear chicken. 4 min per side, 2 batches.

Add the butter and sauté the onions slowly until they are brown and tender - about 25 min.

Add wine and vinegar and turn up heat and deglaze if there are brown bits.

Lower heat and add ½ of the tarragon (or other chopped herbs like Marjoram.)

Put thighs and drumsticks in skin side up and bring to simmer. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. Add broad big pieces skin side down. Cover and cook until big breast pieces have an internal temperature of 105ºF to 115ºF degrees, 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn big breast pieces skin side up. Add smaller tapered breast pieces, skin side up. Transfer covered pot to oven or simmer and cook until breast pieces have an internal temperature of 150ºF and dark meat is 160ºF, 15 to 30 minutes.

After chicken is done, remove and plate. Return pot to stove and add cream and simmer. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and vinegar. Add remaining tarragon and put sauce on chicken and serve.