Braised Chicken with Ver jus Sauce

Braised Chicken with Ver jus Sauce

Child asks, “What’s for dinner, mom?”

Mom replies, “Fancy chicken.”

Child proceeds to frown. Mom (me) knows. He’s thinking, “Not chicken again. That’s B.O.R.I.N.G.”

However, Mom just smiles to herself and gets the fancy chicken cooking, And, very soon, it’s clear to everyone in the house, that this really is fancy. And, it smells soooooo good.

And, the best part is it tastes A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Braised Chicken with Ver jus Sauce is amazing. And, yes, it really is kind of fancy with a fun and interesting blend of fruity, tart and salty flavors. But, it’s not difficult-to-make fancy…I don’t do difficult.

I discovered this fabulous recipe while researching ways to take advantage of a bottle of Oregon’s Hyland Estates Pinot Noir Ver jus (the tart, fresh non-fermented juice of unripe grapes).

My interest in cooking with Ver jus was originally peaked by an article in the Oregonian.

So many delicious possibilities. I’m currently experimenting with pasta and Ver jus. I’m pretty excited about sharing another recipe very soon.

Ingredients List

  • 4 – 4 1/2 pounds, bone-in chicken pieces, rinsed and patted dry (use an 8-piece fryer or go with your favorite pieces…thighs, legs, breasts)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 thinly sliced shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup Ver jus
  • 1 cup chopped seedless green grapes
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half or heavy cream


Lightly season the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper.

In a large Dutch oven (I used my big electric skillet so I could spread the pieces out evenly), heat 2 Tbsp of the butter with the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken, shallots and garlic cloves. Cook  for 6 minutes on each side so that chicken is nice and golden brown.

Pour in the Ver jus. Use a spatula to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the grapes and olives, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium.

Cook until the chicken is tender, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a warmed platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits that cling to the sides or bottom of the pan.

Cook to reduce the sauce for 5-10 minutes (if you want it thick go for 10, I like it a little more broth so did 5).

Reduce the heat to low.

Add 4 Tbsp of sliced butter, whisking butter is melted. Whisk in the half-and-half or cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the sauce over the chicken and server warm.





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