It’s All in the Name: Chicken Sauté au Vinaigre, or Ketchup Chicken?

This was one of the very earliest posts on the blog, back when I knew next to nothing about food photography. I hope you enjoy reading it anyway. One of these days I’ll get around to updating it!

Marlene, July 2018

When my children were young and inclined to be suspicious of any new food that sounded too weird or gross exotic, I confess that I sometimes resorted to maternal trickery and renamed dishes so they would sound good to the kidlets. Thus, my Bulgar Pilaf became Mediterranean Rice.

When I came across this recipe for Chicken Sauté au Vinaigre in Pierre Franey’s Low Calorie Gourmet, I knew my family would like it. I also knew that if I announced its proper name, noses would promptly turn up and there would be a sit-down strike at the dinner table. So, I renamed it Ketchup Chicken (which sounds appalling to me, by the way) and they not only tried it, but loved it. Call me a coward, but I called myself clever!

I made this for dinner on Sunday, boldly calling it by its proper name. I’ve made the dish even lower fat than the original recipe, and increased the amount of sauce because I like it so much. It definitely qualifies as one of my High Flavour, Low Fat specialties. This was another new dish for the Culinary Enthusiast, who was amazed at how flavourful it was.

By the way, these days my kids will eat this any time I make it, no matter what I call it!

Chicken Sauté au Vinaigre

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • several sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • freshly ground pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley to garnish (I’ve always skipped this, but I’m sure it would look lovely)


Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet, then add the chicken, thyme and bay leaf, along with a grinding of pepper. Leave the chicken until the underside is browned and the pieces lift up easily. Turn the chicken and scatter the garlic around the pieces.

Stir together the vinegar, chicken stock and tomato paste until smooth, and pour over the chicken. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover, and let it cook on low for about 30 minutes, removing the lid about 10 minutes before serving. Stir occasionally to ensure the chicken pieces are well coated with the sauce.

To plate, you can top the chicken with some of the sauce, and if you are artistically inclined garnish the plate with some as well.

If you are serving this to someone who’s never had it before, be prepared for a big WOW! when they have their first bite. At least that was my experience…


  1. This recipe sounds delicious and we eat a lot of chicken. What I like about most of your recipes is that they have simple ingredients…ones that most people would have on hand all the time.

    • Thank you! Most of the food I prepare is pretty straightforward and easy to pull together with ingredients from my normal pantry. Occasionally I try something more highfalutin’ for fun though!

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