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Lyon-Style Chicken with Vinegar Sauce Recipe – April Bloomfield – 50 Women Game Changers In Food

by Jeanette on April 13, 2012 · 26 Comments
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Lyon-Style Chicken with Vinegar Sauce

Spring sports are in full swing in our household and things have gotten pretty crazy lately. Getting dinner on the table has been especially challenging as the sports activities end later and the kids want to eat as soon as they walk in the door. It wouldn’t be so difficult except for the fact that I am usually both the chauffeur and cook, so that makes it nearly impossible to have dinner ready unless I make something super quick and easy, or something in advance.

Lately, planning ahead has not been my forte. In fact, I feel as if I’m scrambling just to get to the next pickup, meeting, event, or meal. I do need to try to plan my meals for the week better. Otherwise, dinner will be a mad dash as it was this past week. One day this week, I left the house at 3PM to take one of my sons to track practice. By the time he was done with practice and we had picked up another one of my kids on the way home, it was already 6PM. My husband and third son came in the door a few minutes later. Of course, the first question was, “What’s for dinner?” and “When will dinner be ready?”

I had picked up some tilapia fish filet that was on sale earlier that day and decided to make some fish tacos for dinner. My kitchen turned into a whirlwind of activity as I chopped up tomatoes, avocado, scallions, cilantro and lettuce.  I also made a divine fish taco sauce that I posted on facebook. I seasoned the fish, threw it on the grill along with some corn tortillas, and dinner was on the table in 15 minutes. I managed to take a picture of one of the fish tacos with my husband’s iphone before feeding the masses. Everyone was starving so they wolfed down all that I had laid on the table before I knew it. I quickly chopped up some more toppings and dug out some leftover poached chicken which I seasoned and reheated. Before I knew it, that was gone too.

I posted a picture of the fish tacos on my facebook page while everyone was eating. A funny thing happened after dinner. One of my kids who “likes” my facebook page saw my wall post that said that these fish tacos were so good, I didn’t actually get to eat any.  All of a sudden, the kids realized that I hadn’t eaten anything while they were busy stuffing their mouths. That’s okay, I said, I had a veggie taco, with all the leftover toppings. Some things never change as a mother. When your kids are young, you eat off their plates. When they’re older, they eat more and you still get the leftovers…there’s just less leftovers (which is not such a bad thing!).

Today, I am sharing a recipe for Lyon-Style Chicken with Vinegar Sauce, which I made a few days after these fabulous fish tacos were devoured. This time, I made enough so I could have some ;). Thanks to my sweet husband who helped do all the chauffeuring that evening, I had the luxury of making a “real” dinner. By “real,” I mean I had time to make a nice quinoa pilaf and Swiss chard dish instead of steamed rice and salad.

I was a bit afraid the vinegar would be too overpowering in this dish since the other ingredients in the recipe were simply garlic, a bay leaf, chicken broth, butter, salt and pepper. The recipe also called for creme fraiche, which is similar to sour cream, but thicker and less sour. To reduce the amount of fat in the recipe, I left out the butter and substituted non-fat Greek yogurt for the creme fraiche.

I learned that Greek yogurt can be used in sauce recipes, but it should be added at the end of the cooking process. Since heating the yogurt can cause curdling, I made sure to remove the pan from the stove before whisking in the yogurt. What resulted was a pleasingly mellow, slightly tart sauce. My family enjoyed this chicken dish with Quinoa Pilaf and Swiss Chard with Garlic and Olive Oil.

Lyon-Style Chicken with Vinegar Sauce served with Swiss Chard and Quinoa Pilaf

Side dishes - Swiss Chard with Garlic and Olive Oil, and Quinoa Pilaf

Today, a group of bloggers is celebrating April Bloomfield, one of the Top 50 Women Game Changers In Food. The chicken dish I made is based off of April Bloomfield’s recipe as was the swiss chard I served alongside it. This weekly event of cooking our way through the Top Women Game Changers In Food has been fun as well as educational. Once again, I did not know this week’s Woman Game Changer. Although I had heard of her Spotted Pig restaurant, I did not know that April was the co-owner/executive chef.

April Bloomfield was born in Birmingham, England, but is now  U.S. citizen. She describes her style of cooking as “British, but with Italian undertones,” attributing her Mediterranean influence to the four years she spent cooking at the River Cafe in London. It was there that she tasted a simple bowl of tagliatelle tossed with walnut pesto and realized “how deeply delicious simple food could taste.” In an interview with Food and Wine, Bloomfield is said to favor “simplicity over showmanship and likes to construct dishes around as few ingredients as possible.”

April Bloomfield has two Michelin stars: one for The Spotted Pig, a gastropub, and the other for the Breslin, both in New York City. She also owns the John Dory Oyster Bar in Manhattan with her business partner, Ken Friedman. Jaimie Oliver introduced her to Mario Batali in 2003, who was so impressed with her, that he and Joseph Bastianich became investors in The Spotted Pig.

The recipe I am sharing today is April Bloomfield’s take on a classic French dish that she tasted during a trip to Lyon, France. Prior to visiting France, April was not a fan of French food, having the preconception that France was a bit “hoity-toity.” However, during her trip, she discovered that some French food was “super-rustic, so simple and perfect.”

April has taken this classic French dish and made it tangier by adding more vinegar and finishing the chicken in the sauce for more flavor. I have simply made April’s recipe a bit  healthier by reducing the amount of fat.

5 from 1 reviews
Lyon-Style Chicken with Vinegar Sauce Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from April Bloomfield. I made this dish lighter by leaving out the butter and substituting non-fat Greek yogurt for creme fraiche. If you want to make this dairy-free, simply leave out the yogurt; however, I think it mellows out the acidity in the sauce and adds a deceptively rich and creamy mouthfeel.
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 pounds chicken parts with bone-in
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 large garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken stock, unsalted
  • ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken on all sides. Add garlic and bay leaf and transfer skillet to oven. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and add vinegar. Return skillet to oven and continue baking for 15 minutes. Transfer chicken and garlic to a plate.
  3. Add chicken stock to skillet and boil until reduced to about 1¼ cups, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and whisk in yogurt. Return chicken to skillet and reheat, spooning sauce on top of chicken to coat all sides.
I served this chicken dish with Quinoa Pilaf and Swiss Chard with Garlic and Olive Oil.

If you’re interested in joining our group as we cook our way through this list of 50 influential women in food, just ask Mary from One Perfect Bite. Please stop by and take a look at what the rest of the group made this week in celebration of April Bloomfield:

Annie from Most Lovely Things
Linda from There and Back Again
Val from More Than Burnt Toast
Taryn from Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan from The Spice Garden
Heather from girlichef
Miranda from Mangoes and Chutney
Mary from One Perfect Bite
Sue from The View from The Great Island
Barbara from Movable Feasts
Nancy from Picadillo
Kathleen from Bake Away With Me
Veronica from My Catholic Kitchen
Mireya of My Healthy Eating Habits
Claudia – Journey of an Italian Cook
Alyce – More Time at the Table
Amrita – Beetle’s Kitchen Escapades
Martha – Simple Nourished Living
Jill – Saucy Cooks
Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

For more recipes from this weekly celebration, check out my 50 Women Game Changers In Food Pinterest Board as well as our group’s collaborative Pinterest Board.

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  1. This looks so easy and so good! Happy Friday!

  2. I did see this recipe and was curious as to how the vinegar sauce would balance out. I have read recipes from others who rave about it so glad that you tried it and gave it a thumbs up!

  3. Oh, I was really toying with making this recipe, as well. It sounds so delicious. But of course, now I really want fish tacos!!

  4. Jeanette, this looks and sounds delicious. I am always amazed at how the simplest dishes seem to be the richest in flavor, especially when you use good ingredients. I have to admit I would probably be tempted to go ahead and add the Creme Fraiche by telling myself that 1/4 cup divided four ways will only add a minimal amount of fat, but I am sure that the yogurt enhanced the vinegar’s tang!
    It’s always so nice to read your posts and hear how much you enjoy your kids, the time flies by so fast and it is shocking how much you miss the carpools, the messes and the clamour!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Yes, time is flying by, so despite how hectic things get, I am trying to savor every moment with my kids. Now that my oldest is in college, I am especially mindful of the time remaining before the twins go off to college.

  5. I looked at preparing this dish this week and now that I see it – it will get made. I love the idea of a vinegar-based sauce and then mellowing it with creme fraiche or yogurt. I well remember those hectic days – dinner was a challenge and I had a batch of easy, healthy recipes they were used frequently!

  6. Jeanette your story made me laugh because I keep joking to my husband we need to start a savings account for our son for when he is a teenager because he eats so much now (he’s a toddler). I am scared of what the food bills will be between him and my hubby and that is only 1 child! I can imagine how much food you must go through!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Yes, the amount of food I buy is ridiculous. It’s always fun when I ask the boys to help unload the car. They are amazed by how much I buy. I don’t think they realize how much they eat!

  7. What a wonderful chicken recipe. I was skeptical with all that vinegar. So glad you approve. Thanks for sharing with us.

  8. Good idea to use the Greek yogurt to reduce some of the fat. I still can’t get over how much vinegar it uses without being overpowering.

  9. I recently stayed with my grandsons for a few days and getting them to baseball practice or a game and still having dinner on the table when we came home was quite the challenge! As a grandma…I forgot what that was like. Your dinner looks wonderfully delicious! Your top photo is beautiful!

  10. Beautiful photos — Its surely very challenging to put food on table with spring activities, but this dish looks doable & delicious :)

  11. That’s a wholesome meal! wow..you even had time to catch those gorgeous photos! Love that quinoa pilaf!

  12. I don’t even know what to say about this except for “beautiful”! What is it with us eating off our kids plates and sacrificing full meals for ourselves??

  13. I do miss eating chicken… and it’s recipes like this that really make me crave it.

  14. The chicken and the side dishes look amazing!

  15. This looks so easy, healthy and delicious, I can’t wait to try it. I’m glad you were able to sit down and enjoy a meal together after the taco fiasco! Life really can get out of control at times, can’t it?

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Yes, Spring for us is a crazy time of year with all the kids activities. After the taco fiasco, I have been trying to plan meals better these days.

  16. Looks like a delicious, really different kind of dish I ‘d like to try sometime =)

  17. What a delightful meal all around! I love your switch out to Greek yogurt…a healthy beautiful balance of flavors!

  18. i love the idea of using greek yogurt!!! these chicken drumsticks look fabulous. awww that is so cute that one of your sons saw that you didn’t have any and made sure to let you know! you are right… i never noticed if my mom had enough to eat when we were growing up….

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      I’ve found Greek Yogurt (I use non-fat) to be a wonderful substitute for full fat anything pretty much. Isn’t it funny how kids are? Can’t wait until they are parents…I’ll have a chuckle then.

  19. I was recently complaining that I’m out of new chicken recipes.This is a perfect weeknight meal, thanks:)

  20. can I use Balsamic Vinegar instead red wine vinegar? Thanks!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      I think Balsamic Vinegar might be a bit too rich if you use the same quantity. If you want to try it, I would use half the amount and perhaps add some chicken stock for the remainder of the liquid amount.

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